FOIA Factoids

by Steve

On December 18, 2012, the FBI fulfilled a FOIA request (local copy here) from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). Since then, several organizations have written articles about these documents. This post is another one of those articles. However, I’m going to focus on breadth more than depth; you can consider this a set of FOIA factoids.

Page numbers reference material in the FOIA release.

The FBI reviewed 387 pages of material, and released 99 (pg. 109).

A significant number of reviewed pages were deleted by the FBI: 81 pages (pg 9); 8 pages (pg 30); 4 pages (pg 34); 58 pages (pg 39); 76 pages (pg 43); 60 pages (pg 107) = 287 pages total.

The documents contains 577 redactions. If nothing else, the redactors are thorough.

Eleven documents claim “statistical accomplishment” as part of their purpose (pages 16, 18, 35, 51, 59, 62, 72, 90, 101, 104, and 106).

The FOIA documents mention a total of 21 different FBI offices:

  • Albany (pg 51)
  • Anchorage (pg 11, 54)
  • Birmingham (pg 16)
  • Boston (pg 57)
  • Charlotte (pg 18)
  • Denver (pg 20, 21
  • Indianapolis (pg 1)
  • Jackson, MI (Pg 25, 62)
  • Jacksonville (pg 64, 68, 70)
  • Los Angeles (pg 72)
  • Memphis (pg 75, 78)
  • Miami (pg 82)
  • Modesto (pg 99)
  • New York (pg 35)
  • Omaha (pg 85, 88)
  • Pittsburgh (pg 75)
  • Portland (pg 57)
  • Richmond (pg 90, 93)
  • Sacramento (pg 99),
  • Tampa (pg 101, 104)
  • Washington, DC (106)

The FOIA documents mention at least eight collaborations between the FBI and financial institutions:

  • Bancorp South Bank (pg 62)
  • Federal Hall and Museum Of American Finance (pg 38)
  • Hancock Bank (pg 62)
  • Kessler Federal Credit Union (pg 62)
  • New York Stock Exchange (pg 35)
  • Peoples Bank (pg 62)
  • Regions Bank (pg 62)
  • Zions Bank (pg 41)

The FOIA documents mention at least 27 different government agencies, including:

  • Border Enforcement Security Task Force/BEST (pg 32)
  • Charlotte Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations Unit/WMDOU (pg 59)
  • Customs and Border Protection/CBP (pg 32)
  • DC Fire Department/DCFD (pg 106)
  • DC Metropolitan Police Dept/MPD (pg 106)
  • Department of Homeland Security/DHS (pg 32)
  • Des Moines Police Department/DMPD (pg 88)
  • Domestic Security Alliance Council/DSAC (p 31)
  • FBI (many times)
  • Homeland Security Investigations/HSI (pg 32)
  • Immigrations and Customs Enforcement/ICE (p 32)
  • Iowa Fusion Center (pg 88)
  • Joint Terrorism Task Force/JTTF (many times)
  • Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept/LASD (pg 72)
  • Metropolitan Transit Agency/MTA (pg 72)
  • Miami Command and Tactical Operations Center/CTOC (pg 82)
  • New York Police Department/NYPD (pg 60)
  • Portland (ME) Police Department (pg 57)
  • Richmond VA Federal Reserve Bank (pg 90)
  • Shelby County Sheriffs Office/SCSO (pg 79)
  • Stockton Port Police (pg 99)
  • Tampa Bay Area Intelligence Unit/TBAIU (pg 101)
  • Tennessee Governors Office (pg 75)
  • US Attorney General’s Office (pg 104)
  • US Coast Guard (pg 32)
  • US Secret Service/USSS (pg 106)
  • Virginia Fusion Center (pg 94)

Five documents are concerned with west-coast Port Shutdowns (pages 31, 45, 47, 54, and 99).

The FOIA documents are worth reading. Yes, there are 112 pages, but it’s a relatively short 112 pages (large print, and many redactions). I’ll conclude with a list of things that caught my attention.

  • pg 2, 51, 64, 66, 73. Characterizations of Occupy protests as “peaceful”, or “not condoning violence”.
  • pg 19-22. The FBI had an interest in meetings conducted by a Bank Fraud Working Group in Denver, CO, including a discussion of “cyber threats in the financial industry, including what banks and their customers can do to thwart such threats”.
  • pg 31. This report describes protester attempts to shut down west coast shipping ports. “A few incidents of violence were reported by the Oakland Police Department; however, reported violence was not between the protesters and the drivers or longshoremen”. (The report says who wasn’t involved in the violent behavior, but doesn’t say who was.)
  • pg 35. Concern about “anarchist groups” that might wish to “disrupt, influence, and/or shut down normal business operations of financial institutions”.
  • pg 54. FBI Intelligence included Linked-in profiles, and printouts of Facebook pages.
  • pg 57. A Drano bomb was thrown in the vicinity of a Portland, ME Occupy encampment. This information was passed along to the FBI bureau in Boston. It’s the only mention of Boston I was able to find.
  • pg 61. Threats to kill occupy leaders in Austin, TX via sniper fire.
  • pg 64–67. “verbal grandstanding” on an forum, where “some of the posters appear to be police officers”.
  • pg 69. Threats to kill Occupy leaders in Jacksonville, FL via sniper fire.
  • pg 69. A recommendation to establish “tripwires” within the occupy event coordinators. (I’m curious to know what “tripwire” means in this context.)
  • pg 72-73. Mentions of prisoner mistreatment in LA Sheriffs Department jails.
  • page 86. An informant offers her email and Facebook account passwords to FBI agents. (The informant was advised that “law enforcement would not, and could not acknowledge her consent to access her social sites”)
  • pg 88. The DHS has a publication called “Law enforcement guidelines for first amendment protected events”. I should put this on my reading list.
  • pg 88. “… any intelligence received regarding criminal behavior that could be a thread to public safety should be reported to the Iowa Fusion Center”.
  • pg 89. FBI received word that Occupy Des Monies would be conducting “a gas attack (mustard-sulfur) on the Des Moines airport and other religious centers of corporate greed”. The report goes on to say that “the situation has been resolved without incident”.