U.S. News

FBI searches Midwest homes

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - FBI agents searched eight homes in Chicago and Minnesota on Friday as part of an investigation the law enforcement agency said related to “the material support of terrorism.”

Targets of the searches accused the government of harassing anti-war protesters.

The investigation “concerns material support of terrorism but there is no imminent threat to the (U.S.) community,” FBI spokesman Steve Warfield said.

No arrests were made related to the raids, FBI spokesmen in Minneapolis and Chicago said.

“We are interviewing people in other places in the country,” Warfield added, without specifying where.

The FBI did not release the names of the targets and said the search warrants were under seal.

Minneapolis peace activist Mick Kelly’s apartment was searched, and agents confiscated computer hard drives, his cell phone, writings, and his passport, Kelly and his lawyer said.

“It’s harassment at the highest level of those of us who have spoken out and tried to build an anti-war movement,” said Kelly, who helped lead marches during the 2008 Republican party convention in Minneapolis.

“It’s an attempt to trample on our right to speak out against U.S. intervention abroad. It’s outrageous on every level,” he said.

“They were looking for information about folks who had traveled to Latin America or the Middle East. I’ve traveled in Lebanon.”

Kelly’s lawyer Ted Dooley said the vaguely-worded warrant sought information on anyone Kelly knew, and mentioned Lebanon-based Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), both of which have been designated terrorist groups by the U.S. government.

Kelly said he has traveled to both Lebanon and Colombia “in solidarity with people who are being oppressed.”

Writing by Andrew Stern; Editing by Jerry Norton