The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned that a grand jury’s decision on the case of African-American teenager Michael Brown’s murder will likely lead to attacks on police officers and key infrastructure.
The law-enforcement agency said in an intelligence bulletin issued in recent days that the jury’s verdict about a Missouri police officer involved in the killing is likely to be exploited by some individuals.
The bureau also warned that hacktivists belonging to Anonymous group could use the opportunity to launch cyber-attacks against authorities and institutions.
“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” the FBI said. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.”
Earlier, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and put the National Guard on alert.
The FBI bulletin acknowledges the constitutional right of Americans to peaceful protests but ends up in drastic conclusions.
“The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures,” it said.
In another new intelligence bulletin, the FBI has said the extremist protests “could occur both in the Ferguson area and nationwide.”
The jury’s ruling will determine whether white police officer Darren Wilson, who shot dead Brown on August, is charged with a crime and faces a trial.
Many in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb expect another wave of violent protests if no charges are brought against the officer or if the jury decides that no criminal act was committed by Wilson.