Why Would the FBI Hide Information About A Plot To Use Snipers to Kill “Occupy Houston” Leaders?

There was a bizarre story in the Houston Chronicle this week about a judge ordering the FBI to explain why they are withholding information.

A federal judge has ordered the FBI to explain why it withheld some information requested by a graduate student for his research on a plot to assassinate Occupy Houston protest leaders.

Ryan Noah Shapiro, a doctoral student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., filed a lawsuit April 29, 2013, against the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

[…]

Shapiro said in his complaint that the existence of an assassination plot against Occupy Houston’s leaders became known through the FBI’s earlier release of information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

“According to one of the released records, … [REDACTED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles…,” Shapiro stated in his complaint.

Shapiro requested additional information from the FBI in January 2013.

OK, here are some questions that arise in my mind:

  • What kind of group uses “suppressed sniper rifles” to kill people?
  • What group would be so opposed to or threatened by Occupy Houston that they would be willing to murder the leadership?
  • Why would the FBI protect the identity of the group?

Also, the leftish website, Truthdig provides a fuller quotation of the FBI’s redacted information release and one sentence stands out in the FBI report:

An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary.

“If deemed necessary”? Who talks like that?

Truthdig thought the phrase was important enough to include in their headline. They interviewed the lawyer for Occupy Houston leadership and he thought it was significant:

He added that the phrase “if deemed necessary,” which appeared in the bureau’s report, further suggests the possibility that some kind of official organization was involved in the plan.

At this point, you might suggest I need to renew my stock of tin foil. I don’t know. The Houston Chronicle is a reputable source and there is no question, as far as I can tell, that someone planned to snipe Occupy Houston leaders “if deemed necessary.”

I’m not a fan of the Occupy fad, but I find this level of violence, though only planned, to be very disturbing.

Hat tip: Washington blog