(CNN) — The FBI and Department of Homeland Security considered the Occupy movement that swept across the country as a potential terrorism threat. That’s according to newly-released FBI internal documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The FBI met with New York Stock Exchange officials and New York businesses in August of 2011, before the movement even began, and warned them of a planned September protest.
The documents described several instances where counterterrorism agents joined with other agencies to monitor protesters across the country.
The agency also prepared surveillance and precautionary measures.
Some civil rights groups are upset that the agency treated constitutionally protected activity as it being potentially criminal. The FBI released a statement saying it recognizes the rights of individuals and groups to engage in peaceful protests, but must also take precautions to deal with any potential threat of violence.