The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms attempted to execute search and arrest warrants for the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and sect leader David Koresh. An armed standoff began between government forces and the Branch Davidians. After fifty days of failed negotiations, US attorney general Janet Reno approved a plan for the siege of the compound. When the FBI attempted to overtake the compound in a tear gas assault, several fires broke out, and more than eighty Davidians died in the siege.
COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Programs) was a domestic surveillance branch of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that secretly investigated and disrupted the activities of groups and individuals it classified as subversive during the 1950s and 1960s. COINTELPRO employed questionable tactics in “neutralizing” anti-war and civil rights groups and American citizens. COINTELPRO’s activities were uncovered by a Senate investigation of the FBI and the programs were disbanded in 1971.