Brandon Darby was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Darby gained prominence following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when he became a spokesperson and co-founder of Common Ground Relief, a collectively run relief organization based out of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward.
Darby’s work with the FBI was uncovered in December of 2008, when an unidentified source revealed him to the St. Paul Pioneer Press during Crowder and McKay’s case. On December 29, 2008, Darby made the information public when he released an open letter on the Internet confirming the rumor.
In part, the letter read:
"Though I've made and will no doubt continue to make many mistakes in efforts to better our world, I am satisfied with the efforts in which I have participated. Like many of you, I do my best to act in good conscience and to do what I believe to be most helpful to the world. Though my views on how to give of myself have changed substantially over the years, ultimately the motivations behind my choices remain the same. I strongly stand behind my choices in this matter."
Related Links: Brandon Darby
The New York Times. "Activist Unmasks Himself as Federal Informant in G.O.P. Convention Case"
Reporter Colin Moynihan writes about the release of the letter linked above shortly before Crowder and McKay's federal trial began. (January 4, 2009)
The New York Times. "Anarchist Ties Seen in '08 Bombing"
After Brandon Darby sued The New York Times for libel after a February 23, 2009 article described Darby as having "encouraged" Crowder and McKay in their plan to make firebombs and hurl them at police cars during the RNC convention, the newspaper appended this retraction on the original article on their website. (March 16, 2009)
Darby's transformation from activist to FBI informer is detailed in this This American Life story, which originally broadcast on May 22, 2009. (audio, 17 minutes)