This kind of policing by the rich and powerful is one of the very things we all objected to at Occupy PHX. Thank you Beau Hodai and the Center for Media and Democracy for exposing this tremendous misappropriation of our communities' resources. I'll have more to say once I read the full report....
PHX PD riot cop motorcycles at an Occupy Phoenix protest of Freeport
MacMoran, February 2012.
Chalk art and digitally rendered image by
suspected anarchist/possible terrorist Margaret J Plews.
----from PR WATCH at the Center for Media and Democracy-----
The following is the first in a series of articles extracted from
a new report by CMD and DBA Press entitled "Dissent or Terror: How the
Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With
America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street."
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a nationwide
"counter terrorism" apparatus emerged. Components of this apparatus
include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS), the Office
of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), ODNI's "National
Counterterrorism Center" (NCTC), and state/regional "fusion centers."
"Fusion centers," by and large, are staffed with personnel working in
"counter terrorism"/ "homeland security" units of municipal, county,
state, tribal and federal law enforcement/"public safety"/"counter
terrorism" agencies. To a large degree, the "counter terrorism"
operations of municipal, county, state and tribal agencies engaged in
"fusion centers" are financed through a number of U.S. DHS grant
Initially, "fusion centers" were intended to be intelligence sharing
partnerships between municipal, county, state, tribal and federal law
enforcement/"counter terrorism" agencies, dedicated solely to the
dissemination/sharing of "terrorism"-related intelligence. However,
shortly following the creation of "fusion centers," their focus shifted
from this exclusive interest in "terrorism," to one of "all hazards" --
an umbrella term used to describe virtually anything (including
"terrorism") that may be deemed a "hazard" to the public, or to certain
private sector interests. And, as has been mandated through a series of
federal legislative actions and presidential executive orders, "fusion
centers" (and the "counter terrorism" entities that they are comprised
of) work -- in ever closer proximity -- with private corporations, with
the stated aim of protecting items deemed to be "critical
infrastructure/key resources" (CI/KR, typically thought of as items such
as power plants, dams or weapons manufacturing plants).
As detailed in a report from DBA Press
and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD), "Dissent
or Terror: How the Nation's Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership
with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street
," through 2011
and 2012, "fusion centers" and other "counter terrorism" agencies
engaged in widespread monitoring of Occupy Wall Street activists.
Records obtained by DBA/CMD indicate that, in some instances, these
"counter terrorism" agencies worked in partnership with corporate
interests to gather and disseminate intelligence relating to the
activities of citizens engaged in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Ironically, records indicate that corporate entities engaged in such
public-private intelligence sharing partnerships were often the very
same corporate entities criticized, and protested against, by the Occupy
Wall Street movement as having undue influence in the functions of
This article examines the effects of such public-private intelligence
sharing partnerships in Arizona, and how such partnerships benefited
corporate interests that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest actions
through 2011 and 2012.
Arizona Fusion Center Work on Behalf of Banks
Occupy Phoenix protestors 10/15/11 (Photo:MarlowSharpe.com)
October of 2011, Jamie Dimon, president and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase,
had plans to travel to Phoenix for a "town hall" event with 2,000 of his
employees at Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, located in
downtown Phoenix). As Dimon is one of the most powerful men on Wall
Street and the head of the largest bank in the country -- a bank that
played a key role in the collapse of the U.S. economy in 2008 -- JP
Morgan Chase Regional Security Manager Dan Grady contacted Arizona
Counter Terrorism Information Center personnel on October 17 (the day
before Dimon's scheduled visit), to ensure a smooth landing for Dimon in
The Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC), commonly
known as the "Arizona Fusion Center," is comprised of personnel from
such entities as the Arizona Department of Public Safety Intelligence
Bureau, the Phoenix Police Department Homeland Defense Bureau, the Tempe
Police Department Homeland Defense Unit, the Mesa Police Department
Intelligence and Counter Terrorism Unit, the Maricopa County Sheriff's
Office, the FBI Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Transportation
Security Administration, and the U.S. DHS offices of Infrastructure
Protection and Intelligence and Analysis.
Records indicate that Grady's chief point of law enforcement/"counter
terrorism" personnel contact in Phoenix -- with whom he discussed the
particulars of Dimon's visit and shared a detailed itinerary -- was
Phoenix Police Department Homeland Defense Bureau (PPDHDB) Detective,
and ACTIC Community Liaison Program Coordinator, Jennifer O'Neill. As
records indicate, the chief area of discussion between Grady and O'Neill
were concerns that citizens engaged in Occupy Phoenix, an Occupy Wall
Street-inspired group that had launched only days prior, on October 14
and 15, might try to disrupt the event -- or otherwise inconvenience
According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, in response to Grady's
concerns, O'Neill stated that she and a PPDHDB "CI/KR security
specialist" colleague had engaged in the monitoring of known online
“social networking” outlets used by Occupy Phoenix for discussion
relating to the Dimon visit. As such O'Neill stated: “we have not seen
anything on social networking that leads us to believe protestors are
aware of this event."
By no stretch of the imagination was this monitoring of social media
(known in the world of "counter terrorism" agencies as the acquisition
of "open source intelligence") for the benefit of JP Morgan Chase
President and CEO Dimon the full extent of such activity conducted by
ACTIC personnel. Records indicate that ACTIC personnel consistently
gathered "open source," and other, intelligence relating to Occupy
Phoenix protests of corporate entities throughout 2011 and 2012.
According to these records, in many instances ACTIC personnel would
share this intelligence with personnel employed by corporations who were
subject to these protests.
Another example of Occupy Phoenix-related ACTIC CLP work for the
benefit of banks would be intelligence gathering and other monitoring
conducted in preparation for "Bank Transfer Day," November 5, 2011 -- a
day on which Occupy Wall Street groups nationwide, along with other
mainstream activist/consumer advocate groups, encouraged citizens to
discontinue business with the nation's leading banks (such as J.P.
Morgan Chase banks, Bank of America and Wells Fargo), in favor of credit
unions and smaller community-based banks.
Records obtained by DBA/CMD show that, on November 3, Mesa Police
Department (Mesa is a Phoenix suburb) Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
Unit Detective/ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officer (TLO) Christopher
Adamczyk, issued an OWS-related bulletin to a number of ACTIC
TLOs/analysts. While the actual Adamczyk bulletin is absent from records
delivered to DBA/CMD by PPDHDB, records indicate that the subject of
this Adamczyk bulletin was the impending November 5 "Bank Transfer Day."
It is important to note, however, that available records indicate that
the Mesa TLO did not address "Bank Transfer Day" events set to take
place in the Phoenix area.
Records show that, after receiving this bulletin, O'Neill contacted
PPDHDB/ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Brenda Dowhan and
asked if there was any specific information she could pass on to
downtown Phoenix banks.
In response to O'Neill's request, Dowhan indicated that she would try
to find "FOUO" ("For Official Use Only") information that could be
released to downtown Phoenix banks. In addition, she offered:
"Occupy Phoenix just updated their [Facebook] page saying that they
will be marching to Wells Fargo, B of A [Bank of America], and Chase
Tower. They are supposed to do a 'credit card shredding ceremony' , but
eh haven't identified which bank they will be doing that at [sic]. We
will have to monitor their FB [Facebook]."
As previously stated, O’Neill is the coordinator of the ACTIC
Community Liaison Program (CLP). ACTIC CLP was created in 2006, in
response to federal mandates calling for greater involvement of private
sector corporations in the national "counter terrorism" "information
sharing environment" (ISE, as created by the Intelligence Reform and
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. This piece of federal legislation also
created ODNI, NCTC and set the groundwork for the national spread of
"fusion centers," per the implementation of ISE).
ACTIC CLP is intended to facilitate the flow of "counter terrorism"
information/intelligence between private sector corporate partners and
the Arizona "fusion center." While the stated purpose of ACTIC CLP is to
prevent terrorist activity, to identify terrorist threats, protect
CI/KR, and “create an awareness of localized security issues,
challenges, and business interdependencies,” records indicate that,
during the course of 2011 and 2012, ACTIC CLP was used as an advance
warning system to alert member corporations and banks of impending
Occupy Phoenix protests.
ACTIC CLP is one of two primary vehicles through which corporate
interests partner with ACTIC, the other vehicle being Arizona Infragard.
Arizona Infragard is the Arizona chapter of Infragard, a public-private
intelligence sharing partnership administered by the FBI and supported
(both financially and through the delivery of intelligence) by U.S. DHS.
The Creepy Guy Cometh: Undercover Cop Goes to the Vegan Coffee Shop
"Saul DeLara"s Facebook Profile Picture 10/10/11
indicate that these advance warnings concerning the planned actions of
Occupy Phoenix, and other instances of intelligence sharing with private
sector partners (including meetings between law enforcement/"counter
terrorism" personnel and area bankers), were derived from the constant
monitoring of Occupy Phoenix -- and other activist groups -- by Phoenix
area law enforcement personnel, most of whom were "terrorism liaison
officers" active in the ACTIC TLO Program.
While much of this TLO-gathered information came in the form of "open
source intelligence" derived from the monitoring of social media, one
source of intelligence that records show greatly benefitted not only
ACTIC "counter terrorism" personnel, but also ACTIC's private sector
partners, was an undercover Phoenix Police Department Major Offenders
Bureau (PPDMOB) detective who had infiltrated the Phoenix activist
community and who had attended some of the earliest Occupy Phoenix
planning meetings, as well as subsequent meetings throughout October and
This infiltrating undercover officer presented himself as a homeless
Mexican national named "Saul DeLara" (Saul). One example of this
undercover officer's work product is as follows: following a request by
Phoenix Police Department Community Relations Bureau (PPDCRB, the
departmental entity that served as the public face of PPD interaction
with Occupy Phoenix -- known, affectionately, by members of the Phoenix
activist community as the "Red Squad") Sgt. Mark Schweikert, PPDMOB
Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Tom Van Dorn dispatched Saul to attend an
early Occupy Phoenix planning meeting held on October 2, 2011 at a local
coffee shop. Following the meeting, Saul delivered a detailed report,
dutifully relaying all plans the activists had discussed, to his PPD
superiors. And records indicate that Van Dorn recommended at this time
that PPD units augment the intelligence stream provided by Saul with
constant monitoring of the Occupy Phoenix Facebook page.
But, Saul's attendance at and reporting on the October 2, 2011 Occupy
Phoenix planning meeting was far from the extent of the undercover
detective's involvement in the world of Phoenix activism. For example,
records indicate that Saul had embedded himself among Phoenix activists
in Occupy Phoenix's encampment at Cesar Chavez Plaza, in an attempt at
providing further intelligence relating to activist "Bank Transfer Day"
As stated in a November 3, 2011 email, PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad
Sgt. Van Dorn informed PPDHDB commanding officers that, "Saul will be
spending today and tomorrow hanging out in the Plaza and [sic] with the
Anarchists to try and gather additional intelligence as we head into the
Interestingly, Saul's first appearance among Phoenix activists is
said to significantly predate the birth of Occupy Phoenix (which
officially launched over the course of a two day event, held October 14
and 15, 2011) and even the emergence of the national Occupy Wall Street
movement (which materialized on September 17, 2011).
According to then-Phoenix activist Ian Fecke-Stoudt (Fecke-Stoudt has
since moved out of the Phoenix area), Saul first appeared at Conspire, a
now-defunct coffee house and vegan cafe located in downtown Phoenix, in
July of 2011.
Poetically enough, Conspire was awarded the title of "Best Hangout for Anarchists, Revolutionaries and Dreamers" by the Phoenix New Times
in 2010. The coffee house also served, later in 2011 and early 2012, as a regular meeting place for members of Occupy Phoenix.
According to Fecke-Stoudt, Saul's appearance roughly coincided with
the beginning of activist meetings, held at Conspire, dedicated to the
planning of protest events associated with the American Legislative
Exchange Council's (ALEC) States and Nation Policy Summit (SNPS), to be
held at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in the upscale Phoenix suburb
of Scottsdale, from November 28 through December 2, 2011.
ALEC is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that bills itself as
the nation's largest state "legislative membership organization." As
such, ALEC claims roughly 2,000, or approximately one third, of the
nation's state lawmakers as members. The organization couples these
legislative members on a variety of "task forces" with representatives
from the nation's leading corporations, lobby and law firms, as well as
private 'think tanks' and 'public policy foundations.' These various
"task forces" generate and adopt "model legislation," which member
lawmakers dutifully introduce and work to pass into law in their home
Representatives of corporations and private foundations involved in
ALEC are known as the organization's "private sector members." As is
reflected by the organization's tax filings, these private sector
members fund most of ALEC's activities. As such, ALEC is in reality the
nation's largest public-private legislative partnership, dedicated to
advancing the legislative agenda of its corporate underwriters -- though
ALEC has steadfastly denied that any lobbying activity takes place at
ALEC holds three primary events each year: the Spring Task Force
Summit, the Annual Meeting and the States and Nation Policy Summit.
Invariably, these events are held at upscale resorts in cites throughout
the nation. Travel and boarding expenses for ALEC member lawmakers who
attend these meetings are more often than not paid through the ALEC
"scholarship fund," a fund for which ALEC member lawmakers and ALEC
member lobbyists raise (tax deductible) donations from other
lobbyists/private sector donors.
The organization has come under fire in recent years for its
involvement in disseminating various pieces of "model legislation" and
policy initiatives -- from "voter ID" laws, to laws aimed at crushing
unions, as well as firearms-related laws (such as the "Stand Your
Ground" law, which gained national attention following the February,
2012 shooting death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin).
But, before the rise of public furor surrounding such pieces of
"model legislation," ALEC came under criticism for its involvement in
disseminating the "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act," a
piece of "model legislation" introduced to the ALEC Public Safety and
Elections Task Force (ALEC claims it disbanded this task force in April
of 2012) by then-Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce during the ALEC
December, 2009 SNPS (a month and a half prior to Pearce's introduction
of the same bill, SB 1070, in the Arizona legislature).
The crux of criticism relating to ALEC's role in adopting and
disseminating this piece of "model legislation" was the fact that
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation's premier operator
of for-profit prisons and immigrant detention facilities, was a
longstanding member -- and corporate underwriter -- of the ALEC Public
Safety and Elections Task Force at the time of the "model legislation"'s
adoption. Various records obtained by DBA/CMD show that the nation's
second largest private prison/immigrant detention center operator, Geo
Group, was also active in ALEC during this time (Arizona lobby records
indicate that Geo Group lobbyists were wining and dining lawmakers at
the 2009 ALEC SNPS), along with the nation's third largest private
prison/immigration detention center operator, Management and Training
Company (MTC, records obtained by DBA Press
and the Center for
Media and Democracy indicate that MTC was paying into the ALEC Arizona
Scholarship Fund as late as August of 2010).
And so, when Phoenix-area activists learned of ALEC's plans
(Fecke-Stoudt estimates that Phoenix activists first learned of these
plans in June of 2011) a coalition of activist groups -- including
prison reform activists, anarchists, immigrants' rights groups and
indigenous rights groups -- began planning protest actions at Conspire.
According to Fecke-Stoudt, at some point in early to mid-July, 2011,
his roommate -- also a Phoenix-area activist -- mentioned that "a creepy
guy who looked like he was probably a cop" had been hanging around
Conspire. According to Fecke-Stoudt, his roommate told him that the
"creepy guy" had wandered into Conspire and struck up a conversation
with her. The roommate said that, following this initial conversation,
the man would appear at Conspire and seek her out -- as if they were
friends. According to Feck-Stoudt's recollection of the roommate's
impression, the "creepy guy" had come off as being "overly interested in
It was not long after that Fecke-Stoudt was also approached by the
"creepy guy" at Conspire. According to Fecke-Stoudt, the man wore a blue
t-shirt and blue jeans, had slicked-back salt-and-pepper hair, appeared
to be in his 50s, was very clean-cut and in good physical shape. The
"creepy guy" introduced himself to Fecke-Stoudt and other Phoenix
activists as "Saul DeLara." Despite the man's fit and clean appearance,
Fecke-Stoudt said Saul claimed to be homeless -- and commented
frequently on trouble he had with police through the course of his life
on the street. Saul claimed to be a native of Juarez, Mexico, but seldom
disclosed any other details of his background or personal life.
It is worth noting that Saul would later offer one other interesting
detail of his life. As reported by activists present at a November 9,
2011, ALEC protest planning meeting, Saul claimed to have ties to recent
"anarchist" actions in Mexico. This appears to have been an oblique
reference to a group calling themselves "Mexican Fire Cells
Conspiracy/Informal Anarchist Federation," which, through a number of
anarchists online forums, had claimed responsibility for a fire at Las
Torres Shopping Mall in Juarez on November 2.
"Saul DeLara" posing as an anarchist (pixelation added) 10/15/11 (Source: Facebook)
to Fecke Stoudt and other activists interviewed by DBA/CMD, Saul
consistently expressed a voracious interest in all things related to
anarchism. Perhaps the only area of conversation that stimulated Saul's
interest as much as general discussion of anarchism, said Fecke-Stoudt
and other activists interviewed by DBA/CMD, was discussion of the
pending ALEC SNPS protest.
According to Fecke-Stoudt, Saul commenced to appear at Conspire on
nights when the Phoenix Anarchist Coalition (PAC) would hold meetings.
It was during one of these occasions that Fecke-Stoudt detected a
particularly odd pattern of behavior on Saul's part.
"There's a certain thing that people do, when you can tell they're
interested in something, but they're trying not to talk about it --
where, whenever they hear, like, even the slightest mention of that
thing, they come running over and they start listening intently, or,
like, they'll just kind of slowly put themselves into the conversation
-- that's what he did," said Fecke-Stoudt.
This behavior on Saul's part, explained Fecke-Stoudt, would occur whenever mention was made of the planned ALEC protest.
"Once, after a PAC meeting [...] he was hanging about and somebody
said something about ALEC and, you know, he just kind of suddenly
appeared in the conversation," said Fecke-Stoudt. "I didn't see it
happen at that time, because I was engaged in the conversation, but I'm
like, all of a sudden, 'there's Saul. Why is Saul in this conversation
all of a sudden?'"
It is important to note that, according to both activists' accounts
and records obtained by DBA/CMD, Saul did not only attend anarchist
protest planning meetings. Throughout his time as an activist
infiltrator, Saul rubbed elbows with members of Occupy Phoenix,
immigrants' rights groups, faith-based organizations, indigenous rights
groups, and others.
Records obtained by DBA/CMD show that Saul would report on these ALEC
protest planning meetings to Van Dorn, who would then forward the
intelligence on to PPDHDB personnel.
For example, on October 26, 2011, Van Dorn sent the following email
to PPDHDB Lt. Lawrence "Larry" Hein, PPDHDB Sgt. Pat "Patrick" Kotecki
and PPDMOB Lt. John Geroulis:
"Hey Bosses," wrote Van Dorn. "Saul has stated that the Anarchists
have officially posted the 'resist ALEC' on their website but they
haven't discussed specifics on how to disrupt the conference [sic].
There are also two websites that might be worth the TLO's [ACTIC
"Terrorism Liaison Officers"] monitoring."
Van Dorn then went on to provide a link to
"azresistsalec.wordpress.com," and to detail the number of "likes" on
the Facebook page associated with that site.
"According to Saul they are supposed to be having 'resist ALEC'
training this weekend in downtown Phoenix as well," added Van Dorn.
"Kepp you updated [sic]."
Records indicate that PPDHDB Sgt. Kotecki forwarded this intelligence
on to PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Rohme with instructions to "monitor and
Records obtained by DBA Press
and the Center for Media and
Democracy show that PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Van Dorn and a
PPDMOB undercover detective named Saul Ayala attended two meetings
(November 18 and 23, 2011), held in the ACTIC "training room." The
subject of both these meetings was planned protests of the ALEC
Interestingly enough, records indicate that PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO
Michael Rohme had invited Westin Kierland Director of Security Phil
Black to attend the November 23 ACTIC meeting. According to records
obtained by DBA/CMD, Rohme had been the chief ACTIC point of contact
between ALEC personnel in the months leading up to the 2011 SNPS. Such
ALEC-related personnel Rohme had shared ACTIC resources/information with
included Bayer Healthcare Head of Security Mark Davis. Bayer Healthcare
is a longtime ALEC private sector member and had served as co-chair of
the ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force for several years, ending
in 2011. At the time of the ALEC 2011 SNPS, Bayer Healthcare's parent
corporation, Bayer Corporation, served as "first vice chairman" of the
ALEC Private Enterprise Board Executive Committee.
And, speaking to the private sector clout carried by ALEC in the
world of "counter terrorism" public-private intelligence sharing
partnerships, consider this: Arizona Public Service/Pinnacle West
Capital Corporation (APS) served as a "chairman" level sponsor of the
2011 ALEC SNPS. The chairman of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP,
an economic development corporation whose members are clearly active in
ACTIC CLP) Board of Directors is APS/Pinnacle West President and CEO
Donald Brandt. APS Enterprise Security Operations Director Bob Parrish
served as longtime board member of Arizona Infragard at this time as
Furthermore, records obtained by DBA/CMD show that, in February of
2012, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Advisor
Christine Figueroa forwarded open source intelligence (derived from
activist Facebook postings and the Occupy Phoenix events calendar)
pertaining to planned February 29, 2012 protests of ALEC-member
corporations (a nationwide effort launched by Occupy Portland, Oregon)
to ACTIC personnel (including O'Neill) and other U.S. DHS personnel.
According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, the information distributed
by Figueroa had been gathered by Salt River Project (SRP) Security
Manager Jay Spradling. This Spradling advisory reiterated activist plans
(as posted on the Occupy Phoenix events calendar) to "march from
[Freeport-McMoran Center, worldwide headquarters of Freeport-McMoran
Copper and Gold, Inc.] to other ALEC corporations downtown. Send them a
message that we won't stand for the corporate takeover of our democracy
any longer," and to (as stated on the Occupy Phoenix Facebook page) hold
a press conference for the purpose of "informing people about what ALEC
is and why they are bad!” Records show that this information was then
passed on, through PPDCRB Sgt. Schweikert, to Freeport-McMoran Copper
and Gold Manager of Corporate Security Thomas Tyo.
At the time of the F-29 protests SRP lobbyist Russell Smoldon served
as the ALEC Arizona "private sector chair" (largely responsible for ALEC
Arizona "scholarship fund" fundraising) and Freeport-McMoran Copper and
Gold served as a "director" level sponsor of the 2011 ALEC SNPS.
Freeport-McMoran is also active in ACTIC CLP through its position on the
Downtown Phoenix Partnership Board of Directors.
As indicated by records obtained by DBA/CMD, as well as accounts of
activists interviewed, Saul's participation in ALEC protest planning
meetings ended on November 9, 2011. The PPDMOB undercover detective
attended an ALEC protest planning meeting that evening, after which an
immigrants' rights activist approached Saul and confronted him about his
life as a cop.
According to the activist (who spoke to DBA/CMD on condition of
anonymity), she had worked as a barista at a Phoenix Starbucks some
years prior. During her time as a barista, the woman and her co-workers
had become accustomed to the habits of two police officers who would
come into the cafe to order drinks every night, while the cafe was
closing. Rather than leaving coffee machines on and uncleaned, the cafe
workers would set drinks aside for these two officers. One of these
officers, said the activist, was the man who currently represented
himself as the homeless anarchist wannabe, "Saul DeLara."
According to this activist, when confronted, Saul denied having ever
seen her before and angrily denied being a cop. Nevertheless, word of
Saul's possible relationship with law enforcement spread quickly through
the Phoenix activist community and, as indicated by records obtained by
DBA/CMD, details of this November 9 meeting were the last to be
gathered by Saul and relayed through Van Dorn to PPDHDB/ACTIC personnel.
PPD Public Information Officer Trent Crump declined to confirm
whether PPDMOB undercover detective Saul Ayala was in fact the man who
presented himself to Phoenix activists as "Saul DeLara," or to discuss
any specifics of PPD undercover officer activity related to Occupy
Phoenix or other Phoenix activist groups. However, Crump did state that
it is a "regular practice" of PPD to employ "plainclothes or undercover"
officers in the gathering of intelligence related to activist activity
that may include "civil disobedience."
When asked what suspicion of criminal activity PPD used to predicate
such intelligence gathering conducted by undercover officers, Crump
"I don't even think that one has to say that we have to
anticipate that there's going to be criminal activity for us to gather
intelligence -- public safety is one of our job responsibilities. So,
when we know they're going to have, very possibly, some civil unrest, or
we know we may have large groups of people organizing to rally under a
protest -- or whatever you want to call it -- we gather intelligence on
Brenda the "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Facebook Queen
Occupy Phoenix protestors 10/15/11 (Photo: MarlowSharpe.com)
to records obtained by DBA/CMD from the Arizona Department of Homeland
Security (AZDOHS, the state agency that essentially acts as a bursar for
U.S. DHS Arizona grant awards), PPD was awarded $1,016,897 in U.S. DHS
State Homeland Security Grant Program funding in September of 2010 for
the PPD "ACTIC Intelligence Analyst Project." According to these AZDOHS
records, these funds were intended to fill positions for both a PPD
"ACTIC Intelligence Analyst" and "IT Planner." Records obtained by
DBA/CMD indicate that these project funds have been used, in part, to
hire and pay the more than $71,000 compensation (this figure includes
salary and benefits) of PPDHDB/ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards
Analyst" Brenda Dowhan.
According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, Dowhan's primary role at
ACTIC over the course of 2011 (according to records, Dowhan appears to
have been hired in July of 2011) and 2012 appears to have been the
monitoring of social media activity associated with individuals involved
in Occupy Phoenix -- as well as to create bulletins for distribution to
both ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison Officers" and other "fusion center"
personnel nationwide, detailing trends in the Occupy Wall Street
According to records obtained by
DBA/CMD, in order to
facilitate Dowhan's work PPD personnel regularly fed the "Terrorism
Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" logs containing the names, addresses,
social security numbers, driver's license/state identification numbers,
and physical descriptions of citizens arrested, issued citations -- or
even given "warnings" by police -- in connection with Occupy Phoenix.
The vast majority of these citizens who had been arrested, or had other
interactions with PPD, were cited/warned for alleged violations of the
city's "urban camping" ordinance.
Records indicate that Dowhan took her job very seriously. Records
obtained by DBA/CMD show that when, in December of 2011, two members of
Occupy Phoenix posted plans to travel to Flagstaff for Christmas, Dowhan
alerted ACTIC Terrorism Liaison Officers in the Flagstaff area to their
And, records show that, in November, 2011, when Dowhan first became
concerned that those she surveilled within the Phoenix activist
community may eventually detect her presence online, she asked her
PPDHDB superiors if they could discuss the possibility of her using a
"clean computer," possibly one with an "anonymizer," in the future. This
appears to have been a reference to a computer utility product, made by
Anonymizer, Inc., that allows users to visit websites anonymously.
In fact, Dowhan was so dedicated to her job of monitoring the
Facebook posts (and other social media/blogs) of members of Occupy
Phoenix that, when, on December 16, 2011, FBI agent Alan McHugh
contacted ACTIC/Arizona Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) personnel
(including FBI Phoenix JTTF Special Agent Marcus Williams and U.S. DHS
Intelligence Analyst Anthony Frangipane) to advise them of a planned
December 17 Occupy Phoenix protest to be held outside the Phoenix office
of U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in opposition to the National
Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA 2012), ACTIC "Terrorism Liaison
All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan giddily responded:
"Good Morning Alan [sic] [paragraph break] Tracking the activities of
Occupy Phoenix is one of my daily responsibilities. My primary role is
to look at the social media, websites, and blogs. I just wanted to put
it out there so that if you would like me to share with you or you have
something to share, we can collaborate [sic]."
Dowhan went on to state that ACTIC/PPDHDB was also concerned about
the NDAA 2012 protest (dubbed by Occupy Phoenix the "No Indefinite
Detention Rally") as well as other Occupy Phoenix events planned for
coming days. In closing, Dowhan stated that she would continue to
"monitor online activities to get an idea of what kind of participation
we can expect."
This glimpse into the day-to-day working life of those in the
"counter terrorism" world is, of course, hilariously ironic, since
citizens protesting NDAA 2012 were protesting provisions of the law that
would allow for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens who are even suspected
of aiding, committing, or plotting acts of terrorism, "hostilities," or any other "belligerent acts" against the nation.
However, perhaps a much less humorous side of this reality is
illustrated in an October, 2011 advisory sent out to "fusion
center"/"counter terrorism" personnel nationwide by Transportation
Security Administration (TSA, a component of U.S. DHS) Office of
Intelligence Field Intelligence Officer Larry Tortorich. In this
advisory, focused on a planned October 6 Occupy New Orleans march,
Tortorich opined: "the potential always exists for extremists to exploit
or redirect events such as this or use the event to escalate or trigger
their own agendas. [...] Jihadists recently discussed how they can
benefit from the Occupy Wall Street protests that have been ongoing in
New York City, and suggested 'that their continuation will make the
enemy lose focus on the wars abroad.'" [It is not known what "Jihadists"
It is also worth noting that, according to records obtained by
DBA/CMD, when President Barack Obama visited the Phoenix area in January
of 2012, ACTIC personnel monitored associated NDAA 2012 protests.
Furthermore records indicate that the U.S. Capitol Police Office of
Intelligence Analysis (working with the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security) had monitored Arizona protest activity aimed at NDAA 2012 in
February of 2012.
Occupy Phoenix protestor 5/1/12 (Photo: Ray Otter)
any event, let's get back to Dowhan. While records obtained by DBA/CMD
do show that Dowhan spent tremendous amounts of time trolling the
Facebook pages of citizens engaged in Occupy Phoenix, as well as other
Occupy Wall Street and activist groups, during 2011 and 2012, the mere
culling of "open source intelligence" was not the extent of Dowhan's
U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded activities.
Records obtained by DBA/CMD show multiple instances in which Dowhan
attempted to identify citizens believed to be active in the Occupy
Phoenix/Occupy Wall Street movement (though not believed to have
committed any crime -- other than an allegation of marijuana use, as
discussed below) through the use of biometric data analysis applied to
photos found on Facebook.
One example of the use of this facial recognition technology is as follows:
On November 18, 2011, ACTIC received information pertaining to an
individual reported to be involved with Occupy Phoenix. This information
came in the form of an anonymous tip submitted to ACTIC personnel
through the Silent Witness "web tip" program (a service provided to
ACTIC personnel by The Silent Witness, Inc., a private non profit
The anonymous tip stated:
"Met an Occupy nut online, she says she's from your area
[...] She appears to be involved with some sort of violent organization.
Has expressed intent to 'take down the local power structure,' desire
to be killed in violent resistance as a martyr: 'GOOD KILL US. That will
really make people mad!'"
The anonymous "tipster" (records identified the source of this
information as being "Web Tipster," and Dowhan subsequently referred to
the informant as "the tipster") then went on to state that the "Occupy
nut" "[had] indicated knowledge of specific plans for violent revolt,
knowledge of bomb-related activities. When pressed further was reticent,
claimed she did not want to give more details on the plans due to
'outstanding warrants and paranoia'. [sic]"
In closing, the "tipster" wrote:
"Additionally, since I'm aware no crime has technically
been committed there (apart for whatever the warrants are for), I've got
an actual crime for you as well: illegal possession/use of marijuana,
I've seen her smoking it on camera. I will attempt to get a picture in
the future. [Paragraph break] I'm well aware that the threat of violence
sounds like someone yanking my chain, and it quite possibly is, but she
sounds serious about this and I feel it's better to falsely report than
to not report an actual threat."
The anonymous "tipster" then went on to identify the "Occupy nut" as
being a 20-year-old female known as "Amber." The tipster stated that the
young woman was unemployed and living with her twin sister and father.
The tipster also provided ACTIC personnel with a photograph of what
appears to be a teen-aged girl wearing eye glasses seated in front of a
computer (the photo appears to have been taken by a monitor-mounted
ACTIC PPDHD "Terrorism Liason All-Hazards Analyst" Dowhan immediately
followed up on this tip on November 18, 2011, by distributing
information contained in the anonymous tip to PPDHDB personnel.
In a December 23 email from Dowhan to PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO
Christopher "CJ" Wren, PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Rohme and PPDHDB Det.
Robert Bolvin, Dowhan stated that she had attempted to identify "Amber"
through the use of facial recognition technology, but that the attempt
"We have a Facebook photo and tried to do facial recognition, but she
was wearing glasses," wrote Dowhan in the December 23 email.
The facial recognition resources that Dowhan utilized in her efforts
to identify individuals believed to be associated with Occupy Wall
Street groups are provided through the ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit, a
unit housed within ACTIC and operated by the Maricopa County Sheriff's
According to records obtained from the Arizona Department of Homeland
Security by DBA/CMD, the ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit has the ability
to match biometric data contained in photographs -- such as those found
on Facebook -- with biometric data contained in roughly 18 million
Arizona Driver's License photos, 4.7 million Arizona county/municipal
jail "booking" photos, 12,000 photos contained in the "Arizona Sex
Offender Database," and 2 million photos available through the Federal
Joint Automated Booking System.
The ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit, according to these AZDOHS records,
also has the ability to utilize "portable units" during "special
events." And, according to AZDOHS records, MCSO has requested additional
U.S. DHS funding in order to purchase additional "facial recognition
video capture" technologies.
The ACTIC Facial Recognition Unit currently utilizes technology and
services purchased from Hummingbird Defense Systems, Inc. (HDSI, a
Nevada corporation allegedly headquartered in Phoenix, but which has had
its status as an active corporation revoked in both Nevada and Arizona
since at least 2008). HDSI purports to have partnered with Detaq
Solutions in 2002 in the development of a biometric surveillance system
for the Beijing Public Security Bureau. Part of this system, according
to HDSI, was a "centralized biometric database [...] that was deployed
to help secure Tiananmen Square." As such, HDSI boasts that this system
"was awarded 'National Technology Treasure' status by the Ministry of
Public Security of China."
Tiananmen Square was, of course, the site of the massacre of hundreds
of peaceful Chinese student protestors by People's Republic of China
armed forces on June 4, 1989. The students, demanding government reform,
had occupied the square for weeks prior to the massacre. The site, and
the "June 4 Massacre," have remained significant rallying points to
government reform activists in China.
All Actors in Play: the Facebook Queen, the Creepy Guy, Public-Private Partnerships, and Paid Cops
Phoenix Police before arrests 11/30/11 (Photo: Ezra Kaplan)
Occupy Phoenix was not a large operation. Despite a relatively large
turnout during the group's inaugural march on October 15, 2011 (which
peaked at about 1,000 participants), the Occupy Phoenix encampment in
Cesar Chavez Plaza typically saw fewer than 50 "occupiers." So, given
the galvanizing force offered in opposition to ALEC throughout the
spectrum of the Phoenix activist community, protests of the 2011 ALEC
SNPS were, by far, the most well-attended Occupy Phoenix protest events
to take place during 2011 or 2012, aside from the initial October 15,
The largest of these protests was held on the morning of the first
full day of the conference, November 30, outside the Westin Kierland's
east gate. Protestors, numbering in the hundreds, marched to the gate as
ALEC member lawmakers, lobbyists, corporate executives, and right-wing
'think tank' luminaries were ushered into the resort through security
check points. Arizona Governor Brewer was to be the keynote speaker at
the day's ALEC luncheon, held in one of the Kierland's many grand dining
At about 9:40 a.m., an incident took place between protestors and
riot gear-clad PPD "mobile field force" officers who had established a
"tactical response unit" (TRU) outside the Kierland's eastern gate. All
told, five protestors were arrested on charges of trespassing and
"crossing a police line" during this incident.
Following the arrests, PPD officials told local media that officers
had been attacked by wild-eyed "anarchists" brandishing "nail filled
sticks" and that these "anarchists" had attempted to overthrow police
barricades with metal poles. These attacks, according to PPD officials
parroted in media accounts, had "forced" officers to deploy amounts of
oleoresin capsicum ("OC") spray into the crowd and make the five
Interestingly, this PPD version of events, wherein officers were
provoked by violent "anarchists" with "nail filled sticks," seems to
have little semblance to reality.
The following version of events that took place outside the east gate
of the Westin Kierland, at approximately 9:40 a.m., November 30, 2011,
is based on video evidence that resulted in the dismissal of charges
against one of the activists arrested, as well as photographs and police
records obtained from PPDHDB/PPD by DBA/CMD:
At approximately 9:40 a.m., several PPD officers (many of whom did
not wear any identification, in violation of departmental policy),
deployed as part of a TRU, were met by a group of protestors who had
marched to the eastern entrance of the resort and stopped approximately
50 feet from a barrier line established by TRU officers. Protestors at
the front of the group held a large banner. Behind these protestors were
a number of other protestors. Some of these other protestors held
signs, and some played marching band music on musical instruments. The
crowd of protestors, contrary to PPD accounts, was not composed
entirely, or mostly, of "anarchists." Present at this protest were
members of Occupy Phoenix, members of several immigrants' rights groups,
members of indigenous rights groups, members of faith-based groups,
concerned citizens, as well as a small group of individuals who
described themselves as being "anarchists."
The protest group having stopped well outside the established police
barricade line, four protestors moved to the front of the large banner
at the head of the procession and sat passively on the ground --
remaining several (approximately 30 to 40) feet from the police
Pepper-sprayed at ALEC protest (Photo: Jack Kurtz)
Shortly after these four protestors had seated themselves, several
TRU officers picked up a metal barricade, carried it over to where the
protestors sat, and pushed the barricade down on top of them, as if to
crush the protestors. At this point, another protestor, Ezra Kaplan, a
member of the Occupy Phoenix media group, walked over to where the
police were pushing the barricade down on protestors and started taking
pictures with his camera. The TRU officers then lifted the metal
barricade over the seated protestors and shoved it directly into the
banner, pinning the cameraman between the police line and the banner.
Protestors then began to shout: "we're non-violent," at which point the
four seated protestors and Kaplan were grabbed by officers, rushed onto
resort property and arrested on charges of "crossing a police line" and
trespassing. At this point, TRU officer PPD Violent Crimes Bureau Gang
Enforcement Unit Detective Gregory Liebertz, reached into the crowd,
grabbed the banner and began spraying protestors with OC spray. This
officer was joined by several other officers in pulling, tearing, and
eventually stomping the banner. Simultaneously, several other officers
also deployed OC spray on the protestors. With the onset of this police
aggression, the protestors temporarily disbanded and retreated.
At no point does this video footage show any sign of crazed
"anarchists" (or any other protestor) swinging "nail filled sticks" at
officers, or of "anarchists" (or other protestors) attempting to
overturn police barricades.
In reality, the TRU/"mobile field force" officers had been working
under the command of PPD Sgt. Eric Harkins. According to records
obtained by DBA/CMD, at the time of this incident Harkins was actually
off-duty, earning $35 per hour as a private security guard employed by
ALEC, under the direction of Westin Kierland Director of Security Phil
Black. Records show that, by the time SNPS ended, Harkins had earned
$630 for security services rendered to ALEC and Westin Kierland during
November 30 and December 1.
Harkins wasn't alone in this paid service to ALEC/Westin Kierland.
Records indicate that ALEC/Westin Kierland had hired 49 active duty and 9
retired PPD officers to act as private security during the conference.
All told, ALEC/Westin Kierland paid out a total of $36,015 in "off-duty"
pay to these officers.
[Note: records obtained by DBA/CMD relating to this off-duty job
detail clearly state that the "client company" for this event was ALEC.
As previously discussed, other records obtained by DBA/CMD show that
Westin Kierland Director of Security Black, clearly working for the
benefit of ALEC, had coordinated closely with both ALEC personnel and
PPDHDB/ACTIC personnel in preparation for this event.]
It is not known how many of these off-duty PPD officers working as
private security for the ALEC conference were involved in the
TRU/"mobile field force" incident at the Westin Kierland east gate, but
it is known that Harkins and another off-duty officer working as private
ALEC/Kierland security, Eric Carpenter (paid a total of $630 by
ALEC/Kierland for services rendered), personally arrested the Occupy
Phoenix photographer, Ezra Kaplan. Furthermore, Officer Carpenter's
report of the incident (actually filed as the joint report of both
Harkins and Carpenter) explicitly states that Sgt. Harkins had "advised
nearby officers to place [the four seated protestors] under arrest."
As further stated in the Harkins/Carpenter report, off-duty officers
had attended a briefing prior to the protests at which they were told,
by PPD Off-Duty Job Coordinator Officer Tim Moore (who was paid $2,065
by ALEC/Kierland for services rendered under the direction of Black
during the conference. Moore had also attended several meetings of both
ACTIC and ALEC personnel regarding the planned protests, some of which
were also apparently attended by PPDMOB Career Criminal Squad Sgt. Van
Dorn and PPDMOB undercover detective Saul Ayala) that "no protestors
were wanted on resort property and that the resort would want
prosecution." And, indeed, the five protestors arrested at the
Kierland's east gate were prosecuted -- based, in part, on demonstrably
false claims made by these off-duty police officers.
As for the presence of "mobile field force"/TRU officers at the gates
of the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa during the ALEC SNPS, records
obtained by DBA/CMD show that Black, citing an "article" he had been
given by personnel employed by ALEC, had discussed the possibility of
deploying a "mobile field force" to the grounds of the resort during the
conference with PPDHDB Det./ACTIC TLO Rohme.
The article cited by Black as grounds for this "mobile field force"
presence ("Occupy Wall Street Gets More Violent") was written by
Heritage Foundation Assistant Director of Strategic Communications Mike
Brownfield, and had been published in a Heritage Foundation newsletter.
Conspicuously absent from records obtained by DBA/CMD relating to the
acquisition of a "mobile field force" apropos the Heritage Foundation
"article," is any disclosure on the part of ALEC personnel (or personnel
working on behalf of ALEC, including Black) of the fact that Heritage
is an ALEC member 'think tank,' co-founded by ALEC founder Paul Weyrich,
and financed by many of the very same corporate interests that comprise
ALEC "private sector" membership.
What's more, according to records obtained by DBA/CMD, off-duty
officers employed as private security for ALEC/Kierland had been given
"face sheets," generated by PPDHDB, containing the photographs (mostly
driver's license photos) of 24 Phoenix and Tucson-area activists listed
as "persons of interest to the ALEC conference." Such activists listed
on the ALEC "face sheet" included members of Occupy Phoenix, anarchists,
prison reform activists, members of Phoenix Cop Watch (a watchdog group
that seeks to police unscrupulous or illegal actions of local law
enforcement) and others.
While the exact purpose of the ALEC "face sheet" is unknown, since
none of the activists listed on the sheet (with the exception of one
activist who had been arrested prior to the ALEC event) were wanted in
relation to any alleged crime at the time of the ALEC conference. For
his part, PPD Public Information Officer Crump declined to answer any
questions relating to the ALEC "face sheet." Nevertheless, a November 17
email sent from ACTIC/PPDHDB "Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst"
Dowhan to ACTIC/DPS Intelligence Bureau Analyst Annette Roberts may
provide some insight to PPDHDB/ACTIC motives
[Note: DPS Northern
Intelligence District Commander, Captain Steve Harrison, did not respond
to requests seeking information pertaining to Roberts' position within
DPS. Records do, however, suggest that Roberts is most likely a DPS
Intelligence Bureau analyst]:
"The ACTIC has identified groups that intend 'Shut ALEC
Down.' While some may merely protest the event, such as Anti-SB1070 and
the Occupy Phoenix movement, anarchist groups have shown a determination
to disrupt and shut down the event with the use of violent tactics
experienced by other states hosting these meetings. The Phoenix Police
Department is taking the lead to identify and intercept persons they
believe to pose a threat to the event or attendees."
It should be noted that, regardless of Dowhan's assertions, previous
ALEC conferences were not -- by any stretch of the imagination --
subject to any "violent tactics" perpetrated by "anarchists" (or any
other individuals). Indeed, the sole arrest to have occurred at any ALEC
conference protest prior to the Scottsdale ALEC SNPS took place in New
Orleans in August of 2011, during the ALEC Annual Meeting held at the
Marriott New Orleans French Quarter Hotel. According to New Orleans
Police Department records, on August 5 an officer (who was off-duty,
working as private security for the ALEC conference) arrested a male
subject for allegedly spray painting an "unknown symbol resembling the
letter 'A' with a circle around it (in red color)" on Marriott property.
Nevertheless, this much, regarding the application of the ALEC "face
sheet," is known: during the ALEC protest on the morning of November 30,
2011, Jason Odhner, a Quaker street medic working with the Phoenix
Urban Health Collective, was handcuffed by a police officer, who was
likely off-duty and working as private security for ALEC/Kierland, while
walking across a slim portion of the the Kierland golf course and
detained in the back of a police vehicle for more than an hour (though
he was not charged with any crime). At the time of Odhner's false
arrest, he had been seeking treatment for a protestor who was suffering
from heat-related symptoms. Not surprisingly, Ohdner's name and driver's
license photo were present on the ALEC "persons of interest" "face
According to both a copy of the ALEC "face sheet" and other records
obtained by DBA/CMD, officers equipped with this "face sheet" were
instructed -- by none other than the sheet's creator, ACTIC "Terrorism
Liaison All-Hazards Analyst" Brenda Dowhan -- to destroy all copies of
the "face sheet" after the ALEC event. And, as most -- if not all -- of
the activists pictured on the ALEC "face sheet" had either known, been
Facebook friends with, or been at ALEC protest planning meetings
attended by, the "creepy guy" calling himself "Saul DeLara," it is clear
that intelligence provided to Dowhan in the creation of this "face
sheet" likely had its origins, at least in part, with the PPDMOB
undercover detective who had infiltrated the Phoenix activist community.
Read the full report and Appendix of cited materials on SourceWatch here. Read the full report on DBA Press here and view the document archive on DBA Press here. CMD will be publishing articles extracted from the report throughout the week at PRwatch.org.
From the report appendix, this is the photo array of "Persons of Interest" distributed to police and
security at the ALEC conference in Scottsdale, AZ in November 2011,
presumably assembled at least in part thanks to the Mesa FUSION Center junk intelligence collection. I couldn't be more proud than to be associated with this motley crew. About half of those implicated had
nothing to do with organizing or participating in the ALEC resistance, however,
and I don't think any of us have actually "committed assault on police
officers". Those few who had been previously accused of such -namely the
ARPAIO 5 (just thrown on this list for the hell of it, apparently) were either aquitted or charges were dismissed. Solidarity forever, friends!