Malheur SITREP: 2200L 24 JAN 2016
Situation Report (SITREP) for 2200L 24 JAN 2016
– Local reports indicate a possible decrease in federal vehicles in the vicinity (IVO) Burns, OR, which may be due to a recent FBI shift change. Sources also reported a decrease in the number of law enforcement vehicles in the area.
– There’s been no change in the FBI’s posture IVO Burns, OR.
– Pacific Patriots Network leadership were introduced to two new FBI agents who are replacing the previous two FBI contacts. The new FBI agents desired continued communications with the PPN, and wanted the PPN to continue to communicate with Ammon Bundy. Each party also reiterated a desire for a peaceful resolution.
– Lavoy Finicum renewed his commitment to the Malheur cause, denying rumors that the group was attempting to negotiate their way out of the Refuge. “All of those of you who are worried that we are about to negotiate a withdrawal with the FBI, that is not the case. We are not going anywhere. We are here to do a job,” he recently told reporters.
– There are two unconfirmed reports of overt FBI surveillance of the Malheur compound over the weekend. An occupier in the watch tower overlooking the Refuge Headquarters reported an aircraft making runs over the area. The other unconfirmed report is that a Malheur guard approached a vehicle with two FBI agents who left after a short conversation. No further information is available.
– A community meeting in Burns was scheduled for Monday, 25 January; however, it was cancelled by Harney County Judge Steven Grasty, citing “security concerns.” In a news release, Judge Grasty was concerned over a protest against the “public meeting” in which seating was limited and personal identification would be checked before entering.
ANALYST COMMENT: A shift change would explain a quick increase and decrease in personnel, however, it does not account for the additional equipment and gear trailers brought in over the past week. Although the FBI is being measured in their response, they likely maintain the capability to secure the Refuge, if necessary. Additionally, we can probably expect a similar shift change within the next two weeks.
We expect tactical teams to remain on standby in the event they’re needed in Burns or at the Refuge, however, they do not appear to be any more likely to cordon the Refuge as they were in the past 48 hours.
Time is clearly on the side of law enforcement. We continue to see a calm and calculated presence as the FBI is likely building a criminal case against Ammon Bundy and the Malher crew. A continued willingness to have dialogue with the Pacific Patriots Network remains a positive indicator that a peaceful resolution is desired.
MLCOA: As long as FBI capabilities remain at current levels and we don’t see any indicators of armored vehicles or restricted airspace, then the Most Likely Course of Action is a continuation of what we’ve observed over the past two weeks as the FBI continues to give enough rope to the Malheur occupiers in hopes that they hang themselves.
MDCOA: The arrival of armored vehicles in the area or the introduction of temporary flight restrictions would signal the Most Dangerous Course of Action, which is putting a cordon in place, escalating the situation, and increasing the likelihood of violence.
Photo credit: Harney County Mall Cops