Seth Connell reports that we all knew that Antifa was the driving force behind the violence at recent public demonstrations-turned-riots, but now the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are referring to the group’s activities as domestic terrorism, confidential documents reveal.
Politico obtained confidential law enforcement documents which reveal that as far back as early 2016, federal officials have been warning state and local officials about the dangers posed by the extremist group named Antifa. Politico also interviewed several officials who revealed that DHS has classified their activities as domestic terrorist violence.
Since well before the Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly, DHS has been issuing warnings about the growing likelihood of lethal violence between the left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacist and nationalist groups.
Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI.
As Politico admits, these classifications add credibility to President Trump’s statement after the Charlottesville riots several weeks ago, where he denounced “both sides” for the violence. Though he should have explicitly condemned the white supremacists, given the hype surrounding their movement, he was right to point out that Antifa was also culpable for the violent outbreak.
Antifa anarcho-Communists are the ones who are agitating and planting the seeds of violence throughout the country. In multiple places in their report, though, Politico attempts to place the blame for their actions on the Presidents’ rhetoric and policy positions, but that’s despicably nonsensical.
These Antifa thugs are not animals who have no control over their reactions; no matter what Donald Trump or any other politician says, they still have conscious control over their reactions. Blaming Trump for their violence is like blaming a battered wife’s angry words for her husband’s physical abuse.
There’s never a justification for abusing someone like that, and there is never a justification for assaulting another political group no matter what they say. Mob violence like that can never be tolerated, and it must be crushed. Classifying Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization is a good place to start.
In recent decades, the feds have focused more on “right-wing extremist” groups (that did often include Constitutionalist groups, as a former federal agent revealed to me), but given the rise of violent Leftist organizations like Antifa, the violent Left is coming back into focus.
More recently, the antifa groups, which some describe as the Anti-Fascist Action Network, have evolved out of the leftist anti-government groups like “Black bloc,” protesters clad in black and wearing masks that caused violence at events like the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization protests. They claim to have no leader and no hierarchy, but authorities following them believe they are organized via decentralized networks of cells that coordinate with each other. Often, they spend weeks planning for violence at upcoming events, according to the April 2016 DHS and FBI report entitled “Baseline Comparison of US and Foreign Anarchist Extremist Movements.”
These thugs are preparing for combat, seriously. They are ready to fight and draw blood in the streets. They want all those who support the free market, individual rights, the Constitution, and conservative and/or libertarian values out of “their cities.”
Politico noted that at these clashes, they came ready and looking for a fight.
At the Sacramento rally, antifa protesters came looking for violence, and “engaged in several activities indicating proficiency in pre-operational planning, to include organizing carpools to travel from different locations, raising bail money in preparation for arrests, counter-surveilling law enforcement using three-man scout teams, using handheld radios for communication, and coordinating the event via social media,” the DHS report said.
If they perceive more “fascist” or “nationalist” groups gaining positions of power (and that could be anyone who’s not a Communist for all we know), the assessment states that further attacks are anticipated.
One senior law enforcement official stated that some of them are so dangerous as to be placed on U.S. terrorist watch lists.
Fully understanding the group is rather difficult though, as rather large “intelligence gaps” still exist. One of the internal assessments stated that infiltrating their ranks and gleaning valuable intelligence is difficult given the decentralized nature of Antifa.
An April 2016 assessment stated that Antifa fell out of their purview due to civil liberty protections, but given the rise in violence from the group, that no longer seems to be the case.
It’s about time.
H/T Zero Hedge