The Intercept is upset the FBI once opened terrorism investigations into “nonviolent Palestinian solidarity group” the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
Instead, the FBI was conducting an international terrorism investigation into Chmiel and another activist from the delegation (The Intercept reached out to the second activist, who asked that their name be withheld).
Neither Chmiel nor the general public ever learned of the official terrorism investigation until now. Its existence was revealed by hundreds of pages of FBI files about the International Solidarity Movement obtained by The Intercept through a public records request. The documents make references to other investigations from FBI field offices around the country involving ISM or its members, but many of the files are so heavily redacted that it is impossible to tell what they refer to. In at least some instances, the FBI appears to be monitoring the political activity of ISM members or at the very least noting ISM affiliation of subjects of FBI monitoring.
It is clear, however, that the FBI conducted at least two major investigations into ISM. In addition to the international terrorism investigation into the two St. Louis activists, the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office initiated a domestic security investigation into ISM as an organization.
ISM turned out to be exactly what it said it was — entirely nonviolent — yet the FBI still justified its probes through paranoid views of political associations. It wasn’t just that the federal government was monitoring political speech, the FBI treated certain forms of speech as evidence of terrorism. Supposed opinions of ISM members on political economy make them likely to become terrorists. It is taken for granted that associating with anarchists is akin to associating with terrorists.
Actually there is much evidence of the ISM actively supporting terrorism and collaborating with terrorists. Here is just a sample
- In 2002 activists with ISM attempted to act as human shields for terrorists occupying Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.
- In 2003, senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Shadi Sukiya was arrested while he was hiding in ISM’s Jenin office and being assisted by two ISM activists.
- In 2003, ISM activist Susan Barclay “said in an interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, she knowingly worked with representatives from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”
- In 2003, the General Security Service (GSS) reported that the Mikes Place suicide bombers made contact with ISM members before carrying out their attack. “The two terrorists were careful to base their presence in Judea and Samaria by forging links with members of the ISM,” the GSS report stated.
- A former ISM member dished the dirt on the ISM, which I published on here. He confirmed the ISM act as human shields for terrorists.
Before joining ISM group in Hebron I had my training in Ramallah during two days. How to obstruct IDF ops? How to freely walk in a neighbourhood and alert the coordinators the movements of incoming IDF patrols? When to go out and show your presence to the military, so that they dont dare shoot at your direction? Shield a house that IDF want to demolish? Shield stone-molotov-throwing militants? Yes. Our job. PLO (now Fatah, but it is the same) uses well meaning idealistic western youngsters to aid, shield and make-possible their terrorist agenda. The Fatah-coordinators made it clear to us that ISM uses only non-violent means of resistence, but in the meantime stressed that if the Palestinians chooses to use violence our job is to shield them. It is the Palestinians that live under occupation and humiliation, not us western activists, so we should let them make the operational decisions and we internationals are there to act like human shields and protect them from the IDF.
- In 2006, they posted a press release from terrorist organization Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
- In 2012, they retweeted a tweet in support of “resistance”, which also tagged some known terror organizations
- In 2012, they explicitly urged people “to come to Gaza to act as human rights defenders.” This clearly included terrorists.
- The ISM has referred to actual terrorists as “freedom fighters.” For example, they tweeted this about Samer Issawi, who was arrested in April 2002 and sentenced to 26 years for attempted murder, belonging to an unrecognized (terror) organization, military training, and possession of weapons, arms and explosive materials.
Samer Issawi: Freedom fighter #FreeSamerNOW
— ISM Palestine (@ISMPalestine) April 1, 2013
- ISM member Joe Catron has asked Hizbullah’s Nasrallah to strike Tel Aviv with rockets, condoned the murder of the Henkins, denied the three murdered boys had been kidnapped, memorialized child-murdering terrorist Samir Kuntar, and retweeted Hamas (among other things).
- In a 2015 interview on the Berkeley, California radio station KPFA, ISM member Larudee said: “Although we are totally dedicated to non-violence, we recognize that not everybody that we work with in the Palestinian community is necessarily devoted to non-violence. And under international law, it is permitted for oppressed and occupied peoples to resist using armed resistance. This is permitted and we recognize their right to do so.”
- In March 2018, the ISM promoted on International Women’s Day a terrorist – a member of terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – who died while preparing a bomb to blow up innocent men, women and children.
So Intercept, cry me a river.