Federal subpoenas hit more Palestine solidarity activists

December 3, 2010

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(WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)
Attorney Jim Fennerty says one of the subpoenas requires the recipient to appear before a grand jury in Chicago on January 25.

Grand-jury subpoenas Friday afternoon may signal that the federal government is expanding a probe of Midwest antiwar activists.

Attorney Jim Fennerty said the FBI served subpoenas to at least two Chicago-area women who visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank this summer. Fennerty represents some antiwar activists who defied an order to appear before a grand jury in Chicago this October.

Fennerty said at least one new subpoena requires the recipient to appear before a grand jury on January 25. He declined to name the recipients but said they’re both young and frightened.

“They’re widening the scope of this investigation,” Fennerty said. “They’re trying to squeeze anybody they can. This is an attack about people who do solidarity work around Palestine.”

Subpoenas served to 14 Midwest activists in September suggest an investigation relates to foreign groups the federal government calls terrorist.

A spokesman for the FBI’s Chicago office said officials can’t comment on grand-jury proceedings.