By Hudson Crozier
In the summer of 2020, the FBI used Michael Windecker, a violent felon, to get close to Black Lives Matter activists in Denver. As protests erupted over George Floyd’s death, he helped get activists arrested for crimes in order to “fight terrorists,” according to documents, footage, and interviews obtained by The Intercept.
Fighting terrorism by inciting it? Windecker helped organize multiple anti-police protests that turned violent. He and an undercover FBI agent also tried to encourage two activists to plot violent conspiracies, offering to supply weapons and other needs. One idea was to assassinate Colorado’s attorney general and another was to “blow up a motherfuckin’ courthouse.” Neither activist agreed to a violent plot, but Windecker got one of them arrested for buying him a gun.
What we also know: The FBI flew surveillance planes over crowds of Black Lives Matter protesters across the U.S. in 2020. That same year, the bureau used over a dozen informants and agents to infiltrate the anti-government group Wolverine Watchmen and helped members stage a plot to kidnap and overthrow the governor of Michigan. Interestingly, the FBI agent who worked with Windecker was nicknamed “Red,” the same nickname as an agent in the Michigan plot tasked with supplying explosives.
Big picture: For decades, the FBI has used agents and informants to try and provoke political or religious radicals into plotting violence in order to arrest them. As recent evidence shows an anti-conservative slant from FBI leaders, these unethical practices raise troubling questions about the bureau's involvement in the pro-Trump Capitol protest, which Congress is set to investigate.