The Washington Times - August 12, 2008, 08:28PM

More than a dozen anti-war and anti-death penalty groups, including some who were identified as targets of surveillance by state police in documents obtained by the ACLU, called on Gov. Martin O’Malley to expand his probe of spying by the Maryland State Police, which happened between 2005 and 2006.

The activists, in a letter to Mr. O’Malley sent today, requested he expand the length of the investigation from 60 days to 90 days, allow the targets of the police spying to testify and include any other possible police surveillance, including wire-tapping and e-mail tracking.

Here’s my write-up from today’s paper. Balitmore City police and Mr. O’Malley have denied any involvement by city police, although documents have shown that two undercover Baltimore officers participated in the state police undercover operation and that the department tracked activists in 2003, shortly after the start of the Iraq War.

Protesters have long contested they were targeted by law enforcement for surveillance and sent letters to Mr. O’Malley and Sen. Barbara Mikulski in 2006 detailing their allegations. They gained little traction until last month’s revelations by the ACLU that state police targeted anti-war and anti-death penalty protesters from March 2005 to May 2006.

The state police released 44 pages of documents after the ACLU filed a lawsuit in June seeking the information. The ACLU first filed public information requests seeking information on the spying in August 2006, but was initially unsuccessful.

It’s still unclear whether the actions were illegal although both state and federal lawmakers from Maryland have chastised the process and sought probes.

—<i> “”>Tom LoBianco</a>, Maryland political reporter, The Washington Times</i>

Check my blog “LoBianco on Maryland” for updates and breaking news.