Antifa has been gaining attention in recent months with their violent anarchist actions and chilling statements.
What’s more disturbing is that Antifa has been a known threat even during their fledgling stages, but their rise to power, as well as their current actions, are being ignored, according to an article in Politico. In fact, Homeland Security formally labeled them as “domestic terrorists” as early as 2016, but this was hidden by both the media and the government.
Unreported documents issued by DHS stated that federal authorities had evidence as early as April 2016 that “anarchist extremists” were the instigators of violence at various rallies. Both the DHS and FBI cited Antifa for attacks on law enforcement, government and political institutions, and a number of other activities.
It wasn’t until President Trump was elected in November that Antifa began seriously targeting his supporters and white supremacists.
A senior law enforcement official, who’s tasked with tracking rising threats like Antifa, spoke about their tactics: “These Antifa guys were showing up with weapons, shields and bike helmets and just beating the s*** out of people. … They’re using Molotov cocktails, they’re starting fires, they’re throwing bombs and smashing windows.”
As a result, groups like white supremacists started bringing weapons to their own protests in anticipation of the need to defend themselves against Antifa protesters. The increasing tension and conflict between the two parties has worked to bolster Antifa’s efforts, raise awareness and gain support in both new recruits and resources.
Despite their decentralization, they are well prepared for each riot in which they engage. According to one DHS report, Antifa protesters seeking to foment violence at the Sacramento rally, “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.”
Most disturbing are that many intelligence reports, such as the ones created regarding the weaponry used by Antifa members, were never intended to be released to the public. In fact, much of the information on the rising threat of Antifa, classified by the Obama administration as terrorists, was largely kept from the public by the media or the government organizations themselves.
Even after reports came in of the extremely dangerous tactics and behavior displayed by Antifa, many politicians, including some Republicans, are refusing to condemn them, according to Breitbart.
When President Trump criticized both sides in Charlottesville for engaging in violence, he was condemned by many on Capitol Hill, despite surfacing evidence of Antifa instigating much of the violence.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), even went so far in a tweet to say that the violence of Antifa was justified because of who they were opposing. “When entire movement built on anger & hatred towards people different than you, it justifies & ultimately leads to violence against them.”
Antifa’s roots are seated in Anarchism and Marxism, and they advance that ideology through violent means. Should the Department of Homeland Security come out with a definitive statement declaring the group a domestic terrorist organization?
The failure to act when Antifa was first recognized as a threat in 2016, and to denounce the present-day criminal behavior by both media and politicians, is allowing them to gain power that could lead to very serious consequences.
Their opposition to racism, while understandable, shouldn’t grant them amnesty for their criminal behavior. Resorting to violence by attacking others, destroying businesses, assaulting police officers, and setting fires isn’t heroic behavior–it’s terrorism and they need to be held accountable.