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A Review of the FBI's Investigations of Certain Domestic Advocacy Groups




Chapter Four: Investigative Activities Directed at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

II. Specific Activities Relating to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Between 2001 and 2006, the FBI's field office in Norfolk, Virginia (Norfolk Field Division) initiated preliminary or full investigations of               members of PETA and a preliminary terrorism enterprise investigation of PETA as an organization. Each of the investigations of the PETA members was opened under the FBI's "266" investigative classification, which at the time was designated for "any investigation of a criminal act which involves an individual or individuals affiliated with a domestic terrorist group." The investigation of the PETA organization was opened under the "100" classification, which is reserved for investigations of domestic terrorist groups authorized by the provisions of the general crimes guidelines on terrorism enterprise investigations.109

The first PETA-related investigation that the Norfolk Field Division initiated was directed at Alex Collins,                                      .110 This was the longest and most expansive of the FBI's PETA investigations we reviewed. The case lasted nearly 6 years, from May 2001 to April 2007, and overlapped with the terrorism enterprise investigation of PETA as an organization, which opened in August 2003 and closed in February 2005. We describe and analyze the predication and classification of these two cases first, and then do the same for the other               members of PETA who were investigated by the Norfolk Field Division between 2001 and 2006.


109 As described in Chapter Two, the 1989 Attorney General's Guidelines referred to terrorism enterprise investigations as "domestic security/terrorism investigations" and stated that they were "focused on investigations of enterprises other than those involved in international terrorism, whose goals are to achieve political or social change through activities that involve force or violence." The 2002 Guidelines expanded the predicate to open a terrorism enterprise investigation, stating that this type of investigation may be initiated when facts or circumstances reasonably indicate that two or more persons are engaged in an enterprise for the purpose of: (1) furthering political or social goals wholly or in part through activities that involve force or violence and a violation of federal criminal law, (2) engaging in "international terrorism" or "domestic terrorism" as defined in federal law, or (3) committing any federal criminal offense listed in the federal law that defines the "federal crime of terrorism" or a pattern of racketeering activity involving any of the listed offenses.

110 Alex Collins is a pseudonym.



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