Wednesday, March 19, 2014

FBI Ordered to Justify Shielding of Records Sought About Alleged ‘Occupy’ Sniper Plot

Federal Bureau of Investigation

A federal judge has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to give her a better explanation for its refusal to turn over information to a student researching an alleged plot to assassinate “Occupy” protest leaders in Houston.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student who is seeking records from the FBI related to a Houston spin-off of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests and an alleged sniper plot.  The student claims that the heavily redacted responses he got back from the government violated the Freedom of Information Act.

Information about the alleged plot first surfaced in FBI documents — released through a prior FOIA request by a civil-rights legal organization in Washington – that referenced a “plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles,” according to court documents. It’s not known who was behind the alleged plot or whether the FBI investigated it.

In a ruling last week, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the FBI to explain with more detail why it claims that certain information requested by the student, Ryan Noah Shapiro, is exempted under FOIA.

The law governing the public’s access to records allows the FBI to shield “information compiled for law enforcement purposes” if disclosure would interfere with an investigation, endanger life or cause other types of harm.

For the rest of the story: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/03/18/fbi-ordered-to-justify-shielding-of-records-sought-about-alleged-occupy-sniper-plot/

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