On Friday, Politico reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) formally classified the activities of the far-left Antifa as “domestic terrorist violence” over a year ago, citing interviews and confidential law enforcement documents.
According to Politico, federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that left-wing Antifa extremists have become increasingly confrontational and dangerous. Recent news reports from Berkeley and other cities where Antifa terrorists have been allowed to freely act out would easily corroborate that assessment.
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.
After President Donald Trump’s election in November, the antifa activists locked onto another target — his supporters, especially those from white supremacist and nationalist groups suddenly turning out in droves to hail his victory, support crackdowns on immigrants and Muslims and to protest efforts to remove symbols of the Confederacy.
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But as we and others have reported, Antifa thugs have been attacking anyone who support the president, not just “white supremacists.” As the Gateway Pundit observed, radicals have been allowed to beat and threaten Trump supporters for well over a year:
Jim Hoft pointed out:
FOR OVER A YEAR conservative Americans have been assaulted, spit on, beaten, cold-cocked, egged, chased, tackled and bloodied for attending Trump rallies and conservative events.
THE VIOLENCE AGAINST CONSERVATIVES HAS ESCALATED–
The video of Antifa violence coming out of Berkeley was just stunning.
The Patriot Prayer group canceled their rally but a few supporters turned out anyway.
That’s when hundreds of alt-left Antifa protesters rioted.
As usual, ALL Trump supporters are being labeled as ‘Nazi’s’ by the media and alt-left protesters.
It doesn’t end there, however. CNN, the cable outlet now seen as the least-trusted name in network news according to a study reported on by the Washington Free Beacon in January, all Trump voters are “white supremacists by default.”
CNN has bent over backwards to provide cover for Antifa, as has some in the Republican Party, namely John McCain, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio. House Speaker Paul Ryan recently denounced the group, but only after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., threw them under the bus.
Hillary Clinton’s former campaign spokesman compared Antifa to the troops who stormed Normandy on D-Day.
Politico went on to say that authorities are bracing for even more violence in the near future:
Rallies are scheduled over the next few months across the country, including in Texas, Oregon, Missouri and Florida. Authorities are particularly concerned about those in states where virtually anyone, including activists under investigation for instigating violence, can brandish assault rifles in public.
Tensions have gotten so heated that after activists traded accusations after Charlottesville, a rumor circulated online that antifa would try and shut down the massive Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally because there were too many Confederate flags and Trump signs. It wasn’t true, but it prompted an outpouring of pleas by attendees for anti-fascists to come so they could assault them. One displayed a “Sturgis Survival Kit” for potential antifa protesters, complete with a tourniquet, morphine, body cast and defibrillator.
“Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” said former New York City police officer Brian Levin, who has been monitoring domestic militants for 31 years, now at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. “It’s an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation.”
The template being used here is that only “racists” are targeted by Antifa. But that’s not the case.
Politico also said some of the Antifa extremists received training in Turkey:
Some of the antifa activists have gone overseas to train and fight with fellow anarchist organizations, including two Turkey-based groups fighting the Islamic State, according to interviews and internet postings.
In their April 2016 assessment, the DHS and FBI said the anarchist groups would likely become more lethal if “fascist, nationalist, racist or anti-immigrant parties obtain greater prominence or local political power in the United States, leading to anti-racist violent backlash from anarchist extremists.”
The assessment also said the anarchist groups could become more aggressive if they seek to “retaliate violently to a violent act by a white supremacist extremist or group,” they acquire more powerful weapons or they obtain the financial means to travel abroad and learn more violent tactics.
And let’s not forget that one specialist in the field said Antifa could morph into left-wing death squads.
“They are nihilistic thugs who want to destroy everything that is good in America. They’re a leftist counterpart to skinheads and neo-Nazis. They call themselves anti-fascists but they use fascistic tactics against their targets. Just as Hitler’s Sturmabteilung, or SA, beat up and terrorized political opponents, ‘antifa’ assaulted Trump supporters and Republicans when they shut down Milo Yiannopoulos’ recent speech at UC Berkeley. These people are crazed fanatics and they will never stop,” said Matthew Vadum, an expert on left-wing organizing, senior vice president at the Capital Research Center and author of “Subversion, Inc.”
“As things escalate in the future, the street gangs now springing up could very well morph into militias or perhaps even death squads,” Vadun warned. “Who knows how far things could go?”
Newsmax said in its headline that Antifa was classified as domestic terrorists, but the Politico report isn’t quite that specific.
So if Antifa is engaging in “domestic terrorist violence,” it makes sense to designate them as “domestic terrorists,” right? After all, the state of New Jersey has already done so, and over 300,000 people have signed a petition calling on the administration to designate them as such.
But not so fast, said a post at the National Review.
Andrew McCarthy argues that states — like New Jersey — not the federal government — should be the entities fighting domestic terror groups.
…Section 2331(5) of the U.S. penal code defines domestic terrorism as activities that occur primarily within the United States; that “involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State”; and that “appear to be intended” to accomplish at least one of the following three objectives:
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence a state or federal government policy by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect such a government’s conduct by “mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”
Antifa arguably intends all three.
“While domestic terrorism is defined in federal law, it is not criminalized as such — unlike international terrorism. Nor, significantly, does federal law prescribe a formal designation process for domestic terrorist organizations, as it does for foreign terrorist organizations. There are very good reasons for this, several of which I outlined in an NRO column during the Charlottesville mayhem,” he said.
McCarthy goes on to explain why he thinks the designation is a terrible idea, and observes that “it was not so long ago that we were dealing with an Obama administration — and its media-Democrat pom-pom squads — that regarded limited-government conservatives, Second Amendment proponents, and many veterans returning from overseas military service as ‘right-wing extremists’ who posed a threat of ‘domestic terrorism.‘ Someday, maybe sooner than we’d like to think, Democrats are going to be in power again. Do we really want to give them enhanced federal powers to harass ideological opponents under the guise of ‘designating’ domestic terrorist threats?”
In a sane world, McCarthy’s argument would make sense. But we no longer live in a sane world. Who are Trump supporters supposed to call when local authorities refuse to protect them from hordes of marauding Antifa bent on bloodshed and destruction? Ghostbusters?
Besides, there’s no comparison between the Tea Party and Antifa.
Right this minute, in terms of confronting Antifa or any other domestic terrorist organization, we have a more robust array of state and federal law-enforcement powers than we have ever had. Moreover, coordination between federal and state law-enforcement and national-security officers is as good as it has ever been. All that is required to gut Antifa is the will to do it — the will to say, “Regardless of our disparate political views, we Americans draw the line at violent extortion that eviscerates our right to speak, assemble, and engage in constitutionally protected political activity.”
I’d humbly suggest we work on that, rather than wasting our energy on meaningless and potentially counterproductive theater like designating domestic terrorist organizations.
But given the level of violence and the organization’s open call for what it calls “anarcho-Communism,” it would make sense to see more pro-active measures from the federal government.
No one in the Tea Party has engaged in the kind of violence we’ve seen from Antifa. Nor has any mainstream conservative called for a complete destruction of the government.
Here’s video of Joel Bray and the Patriot Prayer rally being assaulted by Antifa terrorists:
Are these domestic terrorists? We tend to say, “yes.” What say you? Let us know in the comment section below.
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