Documents left behind by FBI agents in a raid on a prominent American anti-war activist’s home have reveal suspicions of 23 Americans accused of providing material support to the FARC in Colombia.
The documents show how the FBI investigated activists’ trips to rebel-controlled areas of Colombia and accuse them of having “provided and/or conspired to provide material support to the FARC,” resulting in the subpoena of 23 people to appear before a grand jury.
The people are accused of supporting terrorism in Colombia, as well as radical groups in the Middle East.
The documents themselves were left behind in a raid on activist Mick Kelly’s house in September 2010, although they were only discovered on April 30, 2011, and subsequently handed to the Associated Press this week.
An FBI spokesman has confirmed the papers are genuine FBI documents that were left behind by mistake, although he refused to comment on the ongoing investigation. None of those subpoenaed has yet appeared before the grand jury, according to the activists themselves.
The activists have condemned the actions and investigations of the FBI, which seem to be centered around two activists’ trips to Colombia some 11 years ago.
Jess Sundin explained that she went to visit the Colombian people and discuss issues ranging from education to unemployment, but that she did not deliver money or weapons to the FARC. At the time the FARC were in peace talks with the Colombian government, and she was apparently taken to the “terrorist-controlled area” in a Colombian military plane.
“It obviously wasn’t illegal in Colombia to travel there, and I wrote about it when I got back,” she said. “It wasn’t a secret trip…I don’t understand why that should be a basis for investigation of criminal activity.”
The activists decided to release the FBI documents in order to try and demonstrate the “disturbing” methods employed by the FBI to investigate them. The basis, in their opinion, is effectively a witch-hunt to discover “‘Who do you know and what do you believe?’,” Sundin said.