The Department of Homeland Security created intelligence documents on two reporters it said published unlawfully disclosed unclassified information on the riots occurring in Portland, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The documents, copies of which the Post said it had obtained, are known as “open source intelligence reports” that were created by the DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. They included images of Twitter posts of the reporters and details about the posts.
The unlawfully disclosed memos included information about confusion among DHS agents as to the motivations behind the violence. They also said DHS agents, deployed to Portland since at least July 2 following weeks of rioting to protect federal property, relied on financial intelligence and “baseball cards” of arrested protestors to assess the situation.
“Baseball cards” are executive summaries of information which the Post said have historically been used by the U.S. intelligence community as background information on suspected terrorists.
In a statement, DHS said the reports were “produced under pre-established classified intelligence reporting requirements that are developed through a rigorous process to include legal and Intelligence oversight guidelines.”
Portland has experienced 60 consecutive days of protests and riots since the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. Federal agents, including officers from the Federal Marshals, Customs and Board Patrol and Federal Protective Service, were deployed to the city as federal installations such as the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse became targets.