Feds have worried about antifa attacks since early 2016: report
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has classified the activities by anti-fascist protesters, or “antifa,” as “domestic terrorist violence” since 2016, Politico reported on Friday.
As of April 2016, DHS and the FBI had reportedly concluded that far-left “anarchist extremist” groups were centrally responsible for inciting violence at a number of public rallies against targets including government institutions under the cause of opposing fascism.
The DHS had since issued warnings to law enforcement officials of potential violence between the leftist extremists and white nationalist groups.
Officials told Politico that President Trump’s campaign and election fueled the fires of left-wing extremism.
“It was in that period [as the Trump campaign emerged] that we really became aware of them,” one senior law enforcement official said. “These antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the shit out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”
Dozens of armed antifa groups have emerged, according to government reports reviewed by Politico, and their clashes with the far-right have escalated violently.
“Both the racists and a segment of violent antifa counter-protesters are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations,” Brian Levin, a former New York City police officer and domestic terror expert, told Politico. “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.”
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