About 35 people rallied outside the federal courthouse in Raleigh Tuesday to protest an ongoing FBI investigation of anti-war activists.
Kosta Harlan said two FBI agents visited his home in Durham on Friday and said they wanted to question him. Two other agents were stationed outside his home, he said.
Harlan, 26, has been active in the anti-war movement and helped organize protests in 2008 at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
"They said they had a lot of information about me and wanted to speak to me in relation to a terrorism investigation," Harlan said Tuesday. "I believe I'm being targeted for my anti-war activism."
Harlan said he told the agents he wouldn't talk without his attorney present, but that they didn't leave and continued to try to get him to answer their questions for about 10 minutes before leaving.
Later that day, Harlan said he went to a coffee shop in downtown Durham to meet with another activist. Within hours, FBI agents approached that person wanting to know what the meeting with Harlan had been about, raising concern that Harlan was either followed to the coffee shop or that his telephone has been bugged.
Harlan's visit from federal agents comes after raids last week on anti-war groups in Chicago and Minnesota. Search warrants suggested agents were looking for connections between the activists and radical groups in Colombia and the Middle East. Some of those whose homes were raided told the Associated Press that agents told them they are suspected of providing material support for terrorism.
"Everyone who is concerned about our democratic freedoms should be concerned about this intimidation by the FBI," Harlan said.
The rally in Raleigh on Tuesday was timed to coincide with other protests around the country. Activists held signs reading "Anti-war activists are not terrorists" and "Stop FBI harassment."
During the rally, several men who appeared to be federal law enforcement officers stood outside the doors of the courthouse. At least eight Raleigh police officers watched from the parking lot of the post office across the street.
Speaking into a bullhorn, several activists expressed dismay at that what they termed as harassment from federal agents is continuing under the Obama Administration. Khalilah Sabra of Raleigh compared the situation to the FBI surveillance of civil rights leaders such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1960s.
"We don't see Blackwater being investigated," Sabra said, referring to the private security contractor now called Xe, which is headquartered in North Carolina.