Agents Provocateurs and the FBI Warnings on Ferguson

The FBI released a warning concerning possible violence from agents provocateurs in Ferguson following the grand jury decision concerning the shooting death of Michael Brown:

The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.

Of interest is the fact that the FBI and other law enforcement officials have actually “infiltrated” and “exploited” otherwise “legitimate public demonstrations” in order to “incite and engage in violence.” I’m thinking about many of the Occupy Wall Street protests that were infiltrated by agents provocateurs in order to create the opportunity to arrest what would have been otherwise “legitimate” protestors:

. . . In all the cases in which Occupy demonstrators have been charged with terror-related felonies, informants and police agents pushed youth to engage in terrorism and even supplied the necessary explosives.

This is troubling. Especially considering that many of the protestors currently descending on Ferguson are not from Ferguson. It would be impossible for any of the peaceful protestors there to determine whether the protestors in their midst actually have their best interest at heart. The situation could and probably will get very ugly.

And I’m not necessarily saying anything concerning the justice of the protestors’ cause. The grand jury for this case has been given the responsibility of determining whether or not Darren Wilson committed any wrong in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an incident that initially sparked a huge number of violent protests in Ferguson. The grand jury decision will be revealed in the next few days, and it is likely that it will also spark protests, whichever way it goes.

Will there be agents provocateurs in the crowds in Ferguson? Probably. Whether they are law enforcement officials pushing the situation to violence or out-of-state agents provocateurs trying to escalate the situation, it is likely to get ugly in Ferguson. I agree with law enforcement officials that have recommended law-abiding citizens buy a gun for self-protection. And perhaps they should stay at home for the next few days. Or visit relatives out of town for Thanksgiving.

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