March 24, 2006

FBI lists Indymedia, FNB on 'terrorist watch' list

by Elizabeth Wagoner
Mar. 11- a guest lecture at the University of Texas School of Law on Mar. 8, FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent G. Charles Rasner listed Indymedia, Food Not Bombs and the Communist Party of Texas as "terrorist watch" cause groups in Austin.

Rasner gave a presentation entitled "Counter-Terrorism Efforts in Texas" to a US law and national security class at the law school. He used Powerpoint slides to illustrate the nature of the terrorist threat in central Texas. The word "unclassified" appeared prominently in bold red letters on the opening powerpoint slide.

Listing three categories of cause groups potentially linked to terrorist activity, Rasner named white supremacist groups, Islamic terrorist groups and anarchists.

Rasner then placed the FBI's central Texas "Terrorist Watch List" on the screen. On a list of approximately ten groups, Food Not Bombs was listed seventh. Indymedia was listed tenth, with a reference specifically to IndyConference 2005. The Communist Party of Texas also made the list. Rasner explained that these groups could have links to terrorist activity. He noted that peaceful-sounding group names could cover more violent extremist tactics.

Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer organization that recovers food that would otherwise be thrown out and serves vegetarian meals to the public at no cost. Austin Indymedia is an open newswire in which readers may publish news, events and commentary.

In response to a questioner, Rasner stated that the FBI will attend activist group meetings whenever it suspects that the group might engage in illegal activity. He said that he saw no problem with an agent failing to represent himself as a representative of the FBI and implied that the practice was common.

Student Elizabeth Wagoner requested a copy of the Powerpoint presentation at the end of the class. Rasner refused, claiming the presentation was government property. He then refused a request for the contact information of the Freedom of Information Act officer in his bureau, saying it "was not worth [his] time."

Source: Austin Indymedia


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