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Md. Police Put Activists’ Names On Terror Lists

Posted By admin On October 8, 2008 @ 11:05 am In Prison Planet | Comments Disabled

Lisa Rein
Washington Post [1]
Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008

The Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects, the state police chief acknowledged yesterday.

Police Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan revealed at a legislative hearing that the surveillance operation, which targeted opponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war, was far more extensive than was known when its existence was disclosed in July.

The department started sending letters of notification Saturday to the activists, inviting them to review their files before they are purged from the databases, Sheridan said.

(Article continues below)

“The names don’t belong in there,” he told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “It’s as simple as that.”

The surveillance took place over 14 months in 2005 and 2006, under the administration of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). The former state police superintendent who authorized the operation, Thomas E. Hutchins, defended the program in testimony yesterday. Hutchins said the program was a bulwark against potential violence and called the activists “fringe people.”

Sheridan said protest groups were also entered as terrorist organizations in the databases, but his staff has not identified which ones.

Stunned senators pressed Sheridan to apologize to the activists for the spying, assailed in an independent review last week as “overreaching” by law enforcement officials who were oblivious to their violation of the activists’ rights of free expression and association. The letter, obtained by The Washington Post, does not apologize but admits that the state police have “no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime” by those classified as terrorists.

Full article here [1]


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URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/md-police-put-activists-names-on-terror-lists.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Washington Post : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/07/AR2008100703245_pf.html

[2] Spying on Activists Discussed at Forum: http://www.prisonplanet.com/spying-on-activists-discussed-at-forum.html

[3] Activists Teach London Police A Lesson About Stop And Search Terror Laws: http://www.prisonplanet.com/activists-teach-london-police-a-lesson-about-stop-and-search-terror-laws.html

[4] Revealed: police databank on thousands of protesters: http://www.prisonplanet.com/revealed-police-databank-on-thousands-of-protesters.html

[5] Number of names on U.S. counter-terrorism database jumps: http://www.prisonplanet.com/number-of-names-on-u-s-counter-terrorism-database-jumps.html

[6] Report a crime and end up on a secret database: Police force has logged 180,000 names: http://www.prisonplanet.com/report-a-crime-and-end-up-on-a-secret-database-police-force-has-logged-180000-names.html

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