Military Spy Infiltrated Anarchists in Cooperation with Police

John Towery military spyJohn Towery, a career military police officer turned private military employee spent years posing as an anti-war activist and infiltrating anarchists starting in September 2007. Towery attempted to build a multi-agency working group to target and study anarchists as well as others. He brought a fire arm to activist events and offered to train others in using a guns to clear a building, target practice and gun shows to purchase weapons. He suggested anarchist activists adopt military strategies and provided manuals to properly do so. He also encouraged anarchists to link up with violent fascists groups, an idea he may have stolen directly out of farcically terrible 2003 film The Anarchist Cookbook. [Spoiler alert: Making alliances with fascists did not go well for the fictional anarchists in the film, and so the protagonist chose in the end to become a paid FBI informant instead!]

Though Towery, known to activists in the Tacoma, WA area as “John Jacob (agent_orange@riseup.net),” was outed as an undercover government agent in July 2009 there is an ongoing civil case against him and the government agencies he represented. As a result of an unrelated cases also involving anarchists and police an email Towery sent was released that reveals details about his efforts to spy on activists and some of the many agencies he was cooperating with.

“In addition to the Army, Coast Guard, and Olympia Police Department, the following agencies are known to have spied on, infiltrated, or otherwise monitored the activities of PMR and/or related or associated activists: Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, Tacoma Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Ft. Lewis Police Department, 504th Military Police Division, Aberdeen Police Department, The Evergreen State College Police Department, the Lacey Police Department, the [Tumwater] Police Department, the Seattle Police Department, the King County Sheriff’s Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Protective Service, other Divisions of the Department of Homeland Security, Naval Investigative Services, Air Force Intelligence (which has created a special PMR SDS taskforce at McGwire Air Force Base in New Jersey), The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Seattle Joint Terrorism Taskforce, as well as the previously discussed civilian employees of the City of Olympia. This list is likely incomplete.” More agencies confirmed including the Los Angeles Police Department according to National Lawyers Guild Attorney Larry Hildes who represent the activists who were victims of spying.

Hildes also said that Towery seemed determined to instigate another “Cleavland 5 or a NATO 3 situation” by his attempts to encourage violence and the acquisition of weapons.

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