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Pennsylvania Homeland Security called coal documentary a security threat

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A 2009 documentary on modern day coal mining is almost as threatening as anarchists and “international jihadists,” according to a document uncovered by Discovery Channel’s Treehugger website.

In a 2009 briefing (.pdf) at the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, a documentary entitled Coal Country is called “potential catalyst for inspiring ‘direct action’ protests or even sabotage against facilities, machinery, and/or corporate headquarters.”

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The documentary, which originally aired on the Planet Green Reel Impact Series, describes the controversy that stems from the coal-mining practice of mountaintop removal.

The briefing, conducted by the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, identifies three facilities allegedly put at risk by the documentary.

“Actions against these facilities would likely cause counter-protests from the pro-coal side, which TAM-C analysts believe already feels assaulted, not only by environmentalists, but by any governmental bodies and/or policies that support them,” the briefing says.

“TAM-C analysts will continue to monitor this documentary as well as the larger issue to determine whether destructive rhetoric or actions are being planned by either camp,” the briefing adds.

Treehugger notes that the document mentions “international jihadists” and anarchists alongside the Coal Country documentary.

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The same document also details potential threats from anarchist groups in the United States during COP15, actions by Spanish anarchists to “boast and teach”, and potential activity by “international jihadists” in the Netherlands in response to an unnamed film wherein the nation is referred to “the infidel Netherlands” and which a unidentified writer asks, “I say to all the Muslims in the Netherlands–will you sit quietly? If you can’t bomb them, then you have no excuse. Burn their houses and their cars.”

All inflammatory stuff, no doubt.

And then there’s Coal Country, following right behind a call to burn houses and cars. There is certainly different analysis of the relative threat levels of both highlight points, with the documentary deemed the lesser of the four presented in the briefing.

The other documents obtained by TreeHugger contain similar analysis, with mention of groups like Rainforest Action Network and various Tea Party-esque groups, right alongside established terrorist organizations.

It’s not the first time the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security has felt threatened by environmentalists. In September, the department was caught spying on anti-drilling activists.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that a leaked bulletin showed the state’s Homeland Security office had been tracking anti-gas drilling groups, including a public screening of the documentary Gasland.

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September briefings by the department included lists of public meetings that anti-drilling activists planned to attend.

“I find it kind of creepy that the state is compiling information on the innocuous activity of citizens,” Jan Jarrett, president of PennFuture, told Centre Daily Times.

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