An exclusive Yahoo News report on Friday revealed an internal document from May 2019, by FBI Phoenix, which assesses a variety of "anarchist extremists" (AE's), finding it "very likely"† they are increasing the targeting of U.S. Government law enforcement personnel and facilities along the Arizona border, which they say is "increasing the risk of armed conflict."
Note - It is important to note that this assessment and nine-page document was created before the July 13th attack on an ICE facility in Tacoma, Washington, by a man armed with a rifle, and incendiary devices that he threw at both the facility and nearby propane tanks, at one point setting a vehicle on fire.† The man was shot and killed by law enforcement in the midst of his attack.
The report, which is embedded below, also assesses "The AE threat to Arizona will likely grow in intensity and frequency in the near mid-term." According to the footnote added, mid-term is considered to be within "6-12 months."
On page three of the FBI Phoenix document, under the heading of "Anarchist Extremists Likely Are Increasingly Using Firearms To Further Operational Goals and during Confrontations with Opposition Groups in Arizona," they base their assessment on "recent reporting indicating the AEs are training with and seeking firearms for 'direct action' and countering opposition groups, including government entities."
They specify a number of those reports, highlighting public statements by both Antifa and††Border Liberation Front (BFL):
The first example cited was that BFL organizers planned for camps in Texas and Arizona to serve as staging platforms for on-site armed support of the migrant caravans. BFL also planned training in fighting and combat, and encouraged members ot bring personally owned firearms.†
In that same section they reference previous reports which revealed they intended to "purchase firearms from a Mexico-based cartel associate."†
The next example cited was an Antifa training seminar in April 2018, in Flagstaff Arizona, where "individuals from multiple AE and anarchist-leaning groups received firearm familiarization training," further noting that the trainers had various firearms on display.
The footnote on page three describes Antifa, stating "Anti-racist characterize themselves as part of a greater anti-fascist network, commonly referred to by both members and opponents as Antifa. Antifa has included violence in the past against those individuals or groups it opposes, including white supremacists, others perceived as racist, and political groups."
The last example they cite references the group called Redneck Revolt, stating that they fundraised for firearm purchases with offers to "act as armed security for various protests and armed components of Antifa protests."
Read the document below before we move along to the attempts to designate Antifa groups as domestic terrorists.
THE LOGISTICAL PROBLEMS OF DESIGNATING ANTIFA AS A DOMESTIC TERROR GROUP
On July 18, 2019,†U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. and Ted Cruz, introduced†Senate Resolution 279 (S.Res. 279), titled "Calling for the designation of Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization."
In the Senate resolution they listed samples of† violence conducted by Antifa groups, then asking the U.S. Senate resolve the following:
(1) calls for the groups and organizations across the country who act under the banner of Antifa to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations;
(2) unequivocally condemns the violent actions of Antifa groups as unacceptable acts for anyone in the United States;
(3) expresses the need for the peaceful communication of varied ideas in the United States;
(4) urges any group or organizations in the United States to voice its opinions without using violence or threatening the health, safety, or well-being of any other persons, groups, or law enforcement officers in the United States; and
(5) calls upon the Federal Government to redouble its efforts, using all available and appropriate tools, to combat the spread of all forms of domestic terrorism, including White supremacist terrorism.
The problem with the wording and perhaps the main reason that the Senate will not put this specific resolution to a floor vote by all members is because there are dozens of groups that "act under the banner of Antifa," but not all them call for violence, or have perpetrated violence against their ideological opponents.
Antifa, in and of itself, is not one specific group or organization. While the ones highlighted in the FBI Phoenix document should be designated as terrorist organizations, as should those that call for "direct action" (harassment, intimidation and.or violence), especially armed direct action,† as opposed to simply peaceably protesting or counter-protesting, which is protected under the U.S. constitution, others that do not encourage violence or the breaking of laws, should not be painted with the same brush as those that do commit crimes.
Increased monitoring of public statements, Antifa group websites, separating those calling for "direct action" from those that do not condone violence in any form, unless in self-defense, is paramount, since many groups provide enough rope to hang themselves with in their public statements.
In other words, in order to prevent an overall "police state" type punishment against "wrong think," the government is going to have to be able to designate specific Antifa groups as "domestic terror groups," without throwing the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.
With that said, a search, using multiple search engines, indicates that no one that we can find has actually put together a recent comprehensive list of Antifa websites, or social media accounts, in order to go through them to document those actively calling for violence.†
The one "list" found was put together by Breitbart in early 2017, in a piece titled "The 75 Leftist Groups Trying to Stop Donald Trump from Taking Office," but not all those groups are so-called "anti-fascist" groups, so a deep delve into each would be necessary to see if anywhere on their websites, or in some cases their Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, they call for "direct action" which includes violence and breaking laws.
This is a project that would require crowdsourcing, where multiple individuals could go through every piece of literature, resource pages, documents, flyers, and anything else that was provided by the specific group, in order to determine of they were indeed encouraging and inciting violence.
While many are justifiably impatient and frustrated that violent Antifa groups have not been officially designated as terror groups, the logistics are not as easy as simply declaring it should be done, but behind the scenes, the FBI, DHS, and local FBI offices are not only aware of the problem and are treating their "activities" as domestic terrorist violence, but are also following up on the tips and the reports and are documenting those violent activities, threats and the increasing risk of armed conflict.
Other than officially listing "Antifa" as a domestic terror group, the federal government should be the ones that prosecute the Antifa members arrested for violence in multiple states, rather than leaving it to the local authorities. If each Antifa member arrested for violence was prosecuted for committing a federal offense, labeling those offenses as "domestic terror," these anarchist extremists would be far more hesitant to go out an attack peaceful rally-goers and protesters.
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