Terrorism at Chicago NATO summit on May 19-21, viewed as improbable, not impossible. Although the W.H. moved the G8 Summit to Camp David, May 18-19.
FBI quietly on alert: ‘Chicago has become a more high-profile target, we all know that’
When Chicago’s FBI boss, Rob Grant, leaned toward a microphone at a NATO briefing for business leaders, the talk to that point had been about summit events and the city’s global image, the annoyance of street closings, and the possibility of protesters breaking windows in the Loop.
But it was on the FBI’s mind, Grant told the full auditorium, promising to coordinate law enforcement to head off the unthinkable.
CHICAGO (CBS) – In a surprise move, the White House has announced the upcoming G8 summit will be moved from Chicago to Camp David. The NATO summit scheduled for the same weekend will stay in Chicago.
As CBS 2?s Dana Kozlov reports, the G8 and NATO summits had both originally been planned to be held at McCormick Place over the weekend of May 19-21, with the G8 summit running from May 18-19, followed by the NATO summit on May 20-21.
But Monday afternoon, the White House announced the G8 summit would be held at Camp David instead.
“To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G8 partners, the President is inviting his fellow G8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues,” the White House said in a prepared statement.
“Weapons of mass destruction and all those things that scare people at night — that’s my world, that’s not your world, generally,” Grant said at the February briefing by the NATO host committee, prompting nervous chuckles from the audience.
Terrorism has scarcely been mentioned as event organizers make final preparations with the NATO summit now a little more than a week away, though federal agents have worked behind the scenes to confront the stark possibility that hosting dozens of world leaders could make Chicago a bigger terror target — at least for a few days.
The FBI has said its responsibility during the summit will be “threat assessment and incident response,” and has publicly downplayed the notion the NATO summit would make Chicago more enticing to terror organizations or individuals wanting to make a violent political statement.
But on the way into another briefing of business leaders this week, Grant acknowledged there will be subtle adjustments in the way the FBI operates. Where small tips and gathered information might usually be allowed to develop into a larger investigation in normal months, that won’t be the case during NATO.
Think of it as a kind of hair-trigger defense that will act on the front end of any perceived threat. “It’s all about disruption” said Grant, the special agent in charge of the Chicago office. MORE
Protest Groups Detail Plans For NATO Summit
CHICAGO (CBS) – Activists planning anti-NATO protests, marches, concerts and counter-summits gathered Thursday at the headquarters of Occupy Chicago to discuss a week’s worth of events leading up to the NATO summit on May 20 and 21.
Occupy Chicago representative Rachael Perrotta said the First Amendment is the only permit the group needs to stage protests, so the group won’t be seeking any permits for their events protesting the NATO summit. The only event they’re involved in that has applied for a city permit is the largest protest, which was organized by several protest groups, set to coincide with the opening day of the summit.
CBS 2?s Derrick Blakley reports, starting this Sunday, Occupy Chicago will join forces with the Anti-Nato Coalition to stage a weeklong series of demonstrations and forums, addressing issues ranging from foreclosures to immigration reform, and from education to the environment.
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