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Tag: standoff

Patience Was the FBI’s Strategy to End the Oregon Occupation Peacefully

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.48.16 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI played the long game to end the Oregon standoff.

Law enforcement finally surrounded the remaining four occupants 41 days after armed militants took over the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve near Burns. The FBI and state police arrested several leaders of the occupation after 25 days.

The Atlantic reports:

But all of these pale in comparison with the time it took to apprehend Cliven Bundy. The father of Ammon and Ryan Bundy, two leaders of the Oregon occupation, he was arrested Wednesday night at the Portland airport when he arrived from Nevada. He had flown in to support the remaining group of four, three of whom surrendered shortly after he was taken into custody. For the FBI, the wait to arrest Bundy was longer: almost two years, since Bureau of Land Management agents who tried to remove his cattle from federal land where they were grazing without permits or fees were met by a huge group of armed men who turned them away.

Bundy had been illegally grazing his cattle on federal land for more than 20 years, and since 1998 was ordered by a court to remove his animals.

The FBI hasn’t said much about why it waited long.

“As we have said since day one, our goal has been to end this illegal occupation peacefully, and we are grateful that we were able to do so today,” FBI Special Agent Greg Bretzing said in a news release. “I want to make it very clear that we will continue to enforce the law with respect to the refuge and other federal properties. Anyone who chooses to travel to Oregon with the intent of engaging in illegal activity will be arrested. Saying that, I want to reassure those Harney County residents who simply visited the refuge or provided food to the occupiers—we are not looking into those events. We are concerned about those who have criminal, violent intent.”

FBI Out of Sight During Oregon Standoff, But They Were Running Surveillance

Burns, Oregon

Burns, Oregon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

No one could see them, but they were listening.

As local law enforcement publicly handled the armed occupation of the federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, the FBI behind the scenes, running surveillance.

Agents confirmed that the participants were armed and prepared to die, the Los Angeles Times reports, citing allegations in an indictment.

A Harney County sheriff’s officer relayed that a source “had explosives, night vision goggles, and weapons and that if they didn’t get the fight they wanted out there they would bring the fight to town.”

Law enforcement shot and killed an activist, Robert “LaVoy Finicum, 55.

Eight others were arrested.

The FBI largely relied on media reports and activists who broadcast their intentions.

One Shot Dead As Authorities Arrest Leaders of Oregon Standoff

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The leaders of the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon were arrested, and the de facto spokesman was killed during a dramatic clash with local and federal authorities Tuesday night.

Eight other anti-government activists were arrested or turned themselves in, and another participant was injured, the Washington Post reports. 

Some occupants remained in the refuge after the confrontation with authorities, who had hoped to end a three-week standoff.

A few people voluntarily left after police surrounded the occupiers.

There were no reports of injuries to law enforcement.

Congressman Demands to Know Why Justice Department Not More Involved in Oregon Standoff

Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat.

Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Where is the Justice Department?

That’s what a Congressman from Oregon is asking about the standoff at a wildlife refuge in his state, The Hill reports. 

Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat, said the federal government needs to act more aggressively to arrest the armed protesters.

“Well, the lights and the heat are on the Malheur Wildlife Refuge illegally occupied by ultra right-wing, anti-government extremists,” DeFazio said on the House floor Wednesday. “But you gotta wonder if the lights are on or anybody’s home down at the Justice Department.”

“Hello!” he yelled, waving his right hand. “I don’t think there’s anybody there.”

DeFazio said he doesn’t believe the Justice Department is doing enough to prevent armed protests against the federal government.

Leader of Occupation of Federal Building in Oregon Said FBI Raid Is Coming

oregonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The leader of the armed group occupying a federal building in Oregon said he believes the FBI plans to raid the property soon after obtaining five arrest warrants, Fox 6 News reports. 

Ammon Bundy said he’s been told that the FBI is preparing a raid, which local and federal authorities would not confirm.

Local police and the FBI continue to say they are seeking a peaceful resolution.

The group is protesting the five-year prison sentences of two local ranchers who have since distanced themselves from the protest group.

“The FBI is working with the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and other local and state law enforcement agencies to bring a peaceful resolution to the situation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,” the FBI’s Portland office said in a statement.

Other Stories of Interest

Armed Protester Occupying Federal Refuge Would Rather Be Killed Than Arrested

burn oregonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At least one of the armed protesters occupying a federal refuge in Oregon said he is prepared to die before being arrested, NBC News reports. 

Today is the fifth day of the standoff at the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The FBI is trying to resolve the impasse without violence.

But one occupier, LaVoy Finicum, said he “absolutely” would rather be killed than arrested.

“I have no intention of spending any of my days in a concrete box,” he said.

“There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them,” he said. “I’m prepared to defend freedom.”

But Finicium, a Mormon rancher from Arizona with 11 children, suggested Tuesday that he hopes the standoff ends soon because “I need to get home.”

“I got cows that are scattered and lost.”

FBI Investigated Armed Supporters of Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy are finding some more unwanted attention.

FBI agents have launching an investigation into the April 12 confrontation between Bundy, his supporters and law enforcement, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

“I’ve said all along there has to be accountability for what took place on April 12,” Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said.

The sheriff said the FBI is reviewing threats and assaults on law enforcement officials on the day of the showdown.

Of particular concern is supporters who were pointing weapons at law enforcement, the Review-Journal wrote.

Mexico Comes Clean: Our Soldiers Were in Standoff with U.S. Border Patrol

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

After blanket denials, Mexican officials are admitting that two Mexican soldiers – not smugglers – were in a standoff with Border Patrol agents in January, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mexico had denied soldiers were involved but finally came clean about the Jan. 26 confrontation.

The soldiers claimed they were looking for drug smugglers.

But some question whether they were really helping drug cartels.