Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 15, 2023

Inside the Files: TigerSwan's Target -- Standing Rock

Photo by Rob Wilson

Inside the Files: TigerSwan's Target -- Standing Rock

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
April 15, 2023
Updated April 17, 2023

With the release of 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents, the Intercept published its first article this week, revealing the details of how the mercenaries spied on Water Protectors at Standing Rock.

National Sheriffs' Association helped target LaDonna Brave Bull Allard

The TigerSwan spy files reveal that the mercenaries targeted individuals like LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, now in the Spirit World, who provided her home as the base of the Sacred Stone Camp when the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline began in 2016.

The National Sheriffs' Association played a key role at Standing Rock, according to the newly-released TigerSwan spy files.

"At the same time, the National Sheriffs’ Association was building its own profiles and sharing them with TigerSwan. In one instance, a contractor for the sheriffs’ group passed along a six-page backgrounder on LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a prominent Dakota Access pipeline opponent, and historian, to TigerSwan," The Intercept reports.

TigerSwan eavesdropped on Lakota elders at the Prarie Knights Casino, listened to camp radio communications, and used aerial surveillance of the camps.

TigerSwan used drones and helicopters for air surveillance, as shown in this intelligence update. It is among the first TigerSwan spy files released in this week's article, 'After Spying on Standing Rock, TigerSwan Shopped Anti-Protest Counterinsurgency to Other Oil Companies, by news reporters Alleen Brown and Naveena Sadasivam, at The Intercept and Grist.

"Horse-Mounted Rioters demonstrating their ambush technique, and blocking DAPL security" is the TigerSwan update on Sept. 27, 2016.

Water Protectors fighting to keep safe the Missouri River weren't the only ones battling the pipeline.

Apparently, someone at the BIA didn't like Dakota Access Pipeline personnel. As shown here, TigerSwan spots a BIA cruiser running DAPL license plates outside their top-secret Ops center at the Wingate Hotel. 

TigerSwan's exaggerations in its intelligence reports were at times almost funny.

ALERT -- there's a convoy coming, and they're on horseback, we're spying on them from near the Seven Councils and Red Warrior Camp, and we're running for our lives ... The Rioter Vehicles are coming, they're closing in on us!

Well, that's a sort of paraphrase of this TigerSwan spy file, shown below, at Standing Rock, on Sept. 27, 2016.

TigerSwan's Bogus Facebook Page

TigerSwan's propaganda page on Facebook is 'Netizens for Progress and Justice.' Its purpose is to attempt to discredit Standing Rock Water Protectors and includes an attack on Indigenous Women's Media. TigerSwan's spy files just released by the court reveal that TigerSwan duped the public with their Facebook page, which appeared to be by the community, and which is still on Facebook. TigerSwan says it was hugely successful and points out that the Washington Times was duped.

Washington Times obviously didn't fact-check their source for credibility and didn't determine if it was reporting credible facts. The information was meant to defame Standing Rock Water Protectors.


BOLOS, that's TigerSwan slang for "Be On the Lookout" files.

TigerSwan claims they may have seen a rifle in this truck, shown below, but it looks like they were just giving them the finger. TigerSwan had a list of license plates and used drones and helicopters for surveillance of Standing Rock Water Protectors, according to the 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents obtained by The Intercept.

Breadcrumb Trails? 

After Standing Rock, TigeSwan used its surveillance in pitches for work for other oil and pipeline companies. TigerSwan says it offers 'Breadcrumb Trails.' Apparently, this means tracking backward and forward a person's web activity, among other things. It's also known as a cookie crumb.

TigerSwan says in its pitch, shown below, that a Breadcrumb Trail is a navigation tool used to show actual routes. In another TigerSwan spy file, (shown at the bottom of this page) the mercenaries show the route of Paiute journalist Myron Dewey's vehicle at Standing Rock in a similar manner, which included collecting Myron's data from social media.

Myron was killed in a head-on collision on an isolated dirt road, when a driver pulled into his lane, nearly five years later, on Sept. 26, 2021, near his family's home in Yomba, Nevada.

TigerSwan also said in this pitch that it offers a Geo Fence, as shown below. This includes tracking a cell phone when it enters a specific area.

After Standing Rock, TigerSwan pitched its spy work to other oil and gas pipelines. TigerSwan's PowerPoint warns of the types of opposition it can deal with: The United Nations, Native leaders, celebrities, Bernie Sanders, supporters of Palestinian rights, and big orgs.

TigerSwan even stalked the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in its high-stakes spying for dollars. The mercenaries were hired by Dakota Access Pipeline.
Paiute Journalist Myron Dewey

TigerSwan spied on the media, including Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, and spied on, and stalked, Paiute journalist Myron Dewey. Myron documented TigerSwan, police and private security at Standing Rock with his drone.

Myron was killed on an isolated dirt road near his family's home at Yomba, Nevada, on Sept. 26, 2021, when a truck pulled into his land and hit Myron head-on.

The driver who killed Paiute journalist Myron Dewey entered a surprise plea agreement on Tuesday. John Walsh entered a plea of guilty on the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter, a deal cut with a new prosecutor assigned to the case.

Myron was battling the expansion of the Navy Seals Bombing Range at Fallon, Nevada, pushed by the Nevada Congressional delegation, and the lithium mine on the Paiute Massacre Site at Thacker Pass in northern Nevada, promoted by President Biden as 'green energy' for electric vehicles. Both are now underway with destruction.

(Below) This TigerSwan Daily Intelligence Update on Dece. 17, 2016, shows TigerSwan using social media to track Myron Dewey and map out his route.

The TigerSwan spy files being released reveal that not everyone liked TigerSwan in North Dakota.

While the big media, and particularly the Bismarck media, promoted the mercenaries orchestrating war on Standing Rock Water Protectors, TigerSwan and the Dakota Access Pipeline personnel were also making enemies in North Dakota. In the TigerSwan files, it shows a BIA agent was running DAPL license plates outside their hotel. And there's more.

The fact that the North Dakota security board ruled that TigerSwan operated without a license, and the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled in favor of the release of 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents, as public records, to The Intercept, reveals that not everyone in North Dakota was lapping up the orchestrated spin of TigerSwan and DAPL. Energy Transfer Partners, who own Dakota Access Pipeline, hired TigerSwan, and seemed to think they had a sweet ride, a get-home-free ticket.
TigerSwan's 'Threat Actors'

For those of you who asked if there's a list of those spied on and stalked by TigerSwan, here's one list, which includes five people. TigerSwan calls these Water Protectors, 'Threat Actors," in its "Threat Actor Snapshot." It includes one of the photographers at Standing Rock who shared their photos with Censored News, and two people from North Carolina.

The diagrams of hundreds of water protectors at both Standing Rock and in Iowa, claiming some were leaders, are intentionally blurred because those are "proprietary information," according to The Intercept's online post of the PowerPoint.

Still, other pages in this PowerPoint list many organizations and individuals -- including attorneys and news media -- who were stalked.

The North Dakota security board ruled that TigerSwan operated without a license in North Dakota. The Intercept fought an expensive court battle to obtain the documents. 

Energy Transfer Partners, owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline, hired TigerSwan and later fought the release of the documents. The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled these are public records and ordered the 50,000 documents released. There are still 9,000 more documents being disputed in court for release. 

Reporter Alleen Brown said, "North Dakota gave Energy Transfer a role in weighing in on what should be redacted. Right now we are missing more than 9,000 pages as the state negotiates with the pipeline company about what should be public."

TigerSwan document targeting individuals and organizations:


Above: TigerSwan's aerial surveillance of Standing Rock Water Protector Camps on October 14, 2016

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Read Censored News coverage of these days at Standing Rock.

This Censored News on Sept. 28, 2016, article has been viewed 1.7 million times

Censored News is a service to Indigenous Peoples and human rights, with no ads, salaries or revenues. It was created by Brenda Norrell, after she was censored and terminated as a staff reporter at Indian Country Today in 2006. Now in its 17th year, it is a collective with more than 22 million page views.

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