Feds Warn of Anarchist Plots To Disrupt Conventions

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 23 2012 9:15 AM

Feds Warn of Anarchist Plots To Disrupt Conventions

1345727538552

Maybe the possibility of a hurricane crashing the RNC is the least of convention planners' worries.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Law enforcement officials are concerned about violent anarchists disrupting both parties upcoming national conventions, according to an intelligence bulletin prepared by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and obtained by CNN. Among the fears: that the extremists groups will use improvised explosive devices and/or cause general chaos with the local transportation infrastructure.

Advertisement

It's unclear exactly how concerned federal authorities are about such a possibility, partly because the FBI routinely issues intelligence bulletins ahead of major events to warn local authorities of potential security concerns. The report mentions one specific threat—from a group of individuals from New York who had been planning to go to Tampa Bay and attempt to close all area bridges during the Republican National Convention—but leaves it unclear if that plot relied on explosives or other less-violent tactics.

More from CNN:

The agencies said that before the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, anarchists discussed blocking bridges and sky walks, taking over a radio station, targeting corporations and identifying hotels where delegates were staying. The anarchists also talked about identifying the location of police stations and emergency routes, according to law enforcement officials. The document, however, doesn't provide details of what anarchists allegedly wanted to do with that information.
"FBI and DHS assess with high confidence anarchist extremists will target similar infrastructure in Tampa and Charlotte, with potentially significant impacts on public safety and transportation," according to the law enforcement alert. The Democratic National Convention is being held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in early September.

You can read the full CNN report here.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They’re just not ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 16 2014 2:11 PM Spare the Rod What Charles Barkley gets wrong about corporal punishment and black culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.