We’re getting this story from Politico because after Berkeley, the left decided that Antifa was a liability. So now suddenly we’re learning that DHS and the FBI were not very fond of the left-wing thugs.
Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.
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.
Politico’s followup spin veers into expected “Blame Trump” territory, but this didn’t magically just happen. Events like the Battle of Seattle far predate Trump. As does Black Bloc, there were leftists in black staging violent attacks long before the Trump presidency was a gleam in anyone’s eye.
And… here we go…
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.”
So yes. This isn’t about Trump. That’s just a convenient talking point.
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.
The intelligence assessments focus less on guns than handmade weapons used by antifa, with photos of members brandishing ax handles and shields, often with industrial-sized bolts attached to create crude bayonets. A senior state law enforcement official said, “A whole bunch of them” have been deemed dangerous enough to be placed on U.S. terrorism watch lists.
The FBI and DHS had no comment on that, or on any aspect of the assessments, saying they were not intended to be made public.
By the spring of 2016, the anarchist groups had become so aggressive, including making armed attacks on individuals and small groups of perceived enemies, that federal officials launched a global investigation with the help of the U.S. intelligence community, according to the DHS and FBI assessment.
The purpose of the investigation, according to the April 2016 assessment: To determine whether the U.S.-based anarchists might start committing terrorist bombings like their counterparts in “foreign anarchist extremist movements” in Greece, Italy and Mexico, possibly at the Republican and Democratic conventions that summer.
So much for the old narrative. But that’s quickly being dismantled. The new narrative is actually fairly accurate.
We have an organized core movement that is seeking to draw in new recruits from the radicalized left, sometimes just to use as cannon fodder or human shields, some for the core group. And, like all violent extremists whose goal of choice is to overthrow the current system through a crisis, their method of choice is violent confrontations with their opposite numbers. That’s true of both sides.
Overthrow the bourgouis normie society by wrecking it. Radicalize, polarize and destroy any kind of middle ground. That’s their big Weimar America dream.
All this intel is nice. But it adds greater pressure on local law enforcement and local authorities to do their job. The whole premise of the Right to Assembly is non-violence. That means preventing anyone from entering the protest zone with masks and weapons of any kinds. It means maintaining total separation between various groups and throwing the book at anyone who breaks the law hard enough that they won’t be coming back any time soon.