weather icon Mostly Cloudy

2010 Burning Man drew FBI security attention

The Las Vegas FBI office was involved in the security details of the 2010 Burning Man event, according to documents requested by a California-based writer.

Local FBI agents worked with the Pershing County sheriff’s office to “aid in the prevention of terrorist activities and intelligence collection,” the agency said in a document response to a Freedom of Information Act request from writer Inkoo Kang.

Burning Man is a week-long art and culture festival in the Black Rock Desert, about 140 miles north of Reno. This year’s event is already underway and runs until Monday .

“The greatest known threat in this event is crowd control issues and use of illegal drugs by the participants,” the FBI wrote in its general description of the eight-day 2010 festival.

The requested document also contained emails between the Las Vegas FBI office and a private security company contracted by Burning Man organizers.

An agent wrote four days before the 2010 event, “… the FBI had no intelligence indicating any outside threats, domestic or international, to this event.”

An email from the Critical Incident Response Group advised the Las Vegas FBI office to “closely plan and coordinate its critical incident management activities with local, state, and federal agencies that are providing security” for the festival.

“This should be standard practice for any special event but it is even more critical in light of the ongoing war on terrorism and the potential for additional acts of terrorism being committed in the United States,” the security company wrote to a Field Intelligence Group supervisor during the 2010 event.

About 20 days after the 2010 festival’s end, the FBI wrote to the security company: “This event took place with no adverse threats or actions.”

Las Vegas FBI officials were not available Wednesday for comment on the agency’s involvement in past Burning Man events and its possible involvement in this year’s event.

Contact Kimber Laux at klaux@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @lauxkimber

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.