Ohio Law Enforcement Links Erin Brockovich to Possible ‘Special Interest Terrorist’ Threat in Eastern Palestine

Erin Brockovich poses with three small dogs (two of them Pomeranians) and a large armchair.

Activist Erin Brockovich poses at her home in Agoura Hills, California on March 16, 2021. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

Law enforcement in Ohio issued a report late last month warning that an event planned in eastern Palestine by environmental activist Erin Brockovich could pose a terrorist threat from violent extremists.

On February 24, it will be distributed to law enforcement agencies by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Ohio-wide Terrorism Analysis & Crime Center Terrorism Analysis Unit Situational Awareness. [STACC TAU] According to a report obtained by Yahoo News, “Extremist groups of special interests continue to call for changes in government policy, which could lead to protests in/around East Palestine and/or at the Capitol in Columbus. We assess that there is.”

The report then follows a successful lawsuit against California utility Pacific Gas and Electric in a case involving contaminated groundwater for a train derailment and toxic chemical release in eastern Palestine on February 3. It features the reaction of a contributing whistleblower, Brockovich.

“On February 24, environmental activist Erin Brockovich USPER [United States person] I plan to go to Eastern Palestine to explain the legal rights of its residents. Brockovich urges the community to use common sense and ask questions. Brockovich also holds Norfolk Southern solely responsible, with the STACC TAU assessing the incident could potentially increase tensions within the community.

The report follows the derailment of the Norfolk Southern railroad and the controlled burning of vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic ingredient used in the manufacture of plastic products after the derailment. assesses the risks posed by activist groups.

“According to the FBI, terrorism by special interest groups is different from traditional right-wing and left-wing terrorism. ,” the report said. “Such extremists commit politically motivated acts of violence to force parts of society, including the general public, to change their attitudes on issues deemed important to the extremist cause.”

An aerial shot shows about 10 railcars clustered together after the derailment and still smoking.

Drone footage shows a freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 6. (Handout via NTSB Government/Reuters)

Brockovich, played by actress Julia Roberts in the 2000 film named after her, was in Eastern Palestine Thursday afternoon to host an event. did not respond.

This situational awareness report is highly problematic, said former FBI agent Mike Germann, who worked on the recent Brennan Center report on the DHS Fusion Center issue.

“Clearly, there is no reason to include Erin Brockovich’s name or description of her defense in a law enforcement intelligence report, much less in a ‘situational awareness’ report by the State Fusion Center’s Terrorism Analysis Unit.” Jarman told Yahoo News. “Almost all of the activities described in this report are duly protected by the First Amendment, pose no threat of harm, and should not be of interest to terrorist intelligence agencies.”

The Ohio Public Safety Department told Yahoo News it denied issuing a report identifying Brockovich as a possible terrorist threat.

“Erin Brockovich is listed as an ‘environmental activist,’ and a simple mention of her falls under the heading ‘Various Individuals or Groups Responded to Train Derailment,'” said Ohio Public Safety. The station’s Jay Carey told Yahoo News in an email. “The fact that she is an ‘environmental activist’ who ‘responded to the train derailment’ is factual and well documented by media accounts. All other inferences are incorrect.”

DHS posted the report on its information-sharing platform on February 28, making it available to more than 150,000 local, state and federal law enforcement and other partners nationwide.

“Fusion Centers are state and local owned and operated centers that actively share, analyze and operate threat-related information among federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners.” a DHS spokesperson said in an email to Yahoo. news. “DHS supports the Fusion Center through DHS personnel presence and information sharing technology, but DHS does not operate or operate the Fusion Center.”

The report also referenced environmental group Earthjustice, which pointed to “polluted waterways” and the ensuing deaths of thousands of fish and “called on Governor Dewine Wosper to declare a state of emergency.” He said.

In a packed auditorium, Erin Brockovich is sitting in one of the front rows, addressing residents.

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich (front right) addresses interested residents as host of a town hall meeting at East Palestine High School on Thursday. (Michael Swensen/Getty Images)

“Earthjustice is working with communities across the country to protect people’s health,” Debbie Chiswar, managing attorney for Earthjustice’s Midwest Regional Office, told Yahoo News.

“In Eastern Palestine, Earthjustice is helping partners exposed to toxic chemicals with the necessary resources, monitoring, pollution cleanup, and protection to prevent disasters such as the explosion of a freight train carrying chemicals. I’m looking for the future.”

According to a report obtained by Yahoo News, East Palestinian police and fire departments reported receiving threats, but deemed them unreliable. However, it was not clear why they were mentioned in the report.

“The report should not have described non-criminal activity, especially after the Terrorism Analysis Unit said it was ‘not aware of a credible direct threat of a train derailment in East Palestine,'” Jarman said. Told. “This flawed report undermines effective counter-terrorism and law enforcement analysis by overwhelming intelligence analysts with unhelpful misinformation that slows their response to real threat alerts. will clog our intelligence network.”

Former DHS Deputy Undersecretary John Cohen agrees that including Brockovich’s name is, as he says, “a bit problematic,” explaining what law enforcement sees and doesn’t see as a threat He said he needed to be more careful.

“When reporting online or other activity where speech may be protected, we take very seriously how the speech relates to threat-related activity or other public safety issues. We need to be clear,” Cohen told Yahoo News. It is necessary to clarify where the relevance of