The FBI used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy
Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning,
according to newly disclosed agency records.
The FBI records show that as early as September 2011, an agent from a counterterrorism task force in New York notified officials of two landmarks in Lower Manhattan - Federal Hall and the Museum of American Finance - "that their building was identified as a point of interest for the Occupy Wall Street."
That was around the time that Occupy Wall Street activists set up a camp in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, spawning a protest movement across the United States that focused the nation's attention on issues of income inequality.
In the following months, FBI personnel around the country were routinely involved in exchanging information about the movement with businesses, local law enforcement agencies and universities.
An October 2011 memo from the bureau's Jacksonville, Fla., field office said agents should contact Occupy Wall Street activists to ascertain whether people who attended their events had "violent tendencies."
The FBI was concerned that the movement would provide "an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction."
A spokesman for the FBI cautioned against "drawing conclusions from redacted" documents.
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