Despite a recent statement by FBI Director Christopher Wray that the FBI was “All-in” on targeting those responsible for last summer’s violent Antifa/BLM riots, these anarcho-communist groups continue to act basically with impunity, both here in the United States and abroad.
Andy Ngo, who has done more than anyone else in America to expose Antifa for what it is, was once again attacked by Antifa members on the streets of Portland. This is the second brutal attack Ngo has had to endure. The first time Antifa attacked him, he experienced a dangerous brain injury.
Not only has there been virtually no law enforcement or criminal justice response to the attacks on Ngo, but businesses and individuals in Portland who witnessed the latest attack refused to come to his aid.
Not all the news from Portland is bad though. Last week numerous Antifa members were indicted on both state and federal anti-rioting charges. Unfortunately, however, many of those charges are for relatively minor offenses like criminal mischief, unlikely to result in significant prison sentences. This is a far cry from prosecuting these attacks as acts of violence designed to create a political outcome –which is squarely within both the federal and state definitions of terrorism.
And terrorism is ultimately what Antifa is all about.
Antifa’s ultimate goal is to use violence in order to stifle political expression and create anarchy to bring about conditions for overthrowing the U.S. constitution. Antifa members that participate in violence should face terror charges. Professional malpractice borne of ignorance and a politicized environment where too many leaders are sympathetic to Antifa’s cause prevents it however.Nor is Antifa violence limited to America, making the movement an international threat. On May 30 in Paris, Antifa members violently attacked a group of worshippers marching to commemorate Catholic martyrs killed in 1871. The victims included the elderly, women and even children. As in the U.S., French police are increasingly frustrated that Antifa militants are escaping punishment.
The recent ODNI (Director of National Intelligence) report on so-called “domestic violent extremists” failed to even mention the international ties of Antifa and its allied organizations.
What all this adds up to is that Antifa fulfills two basic requirements for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization: (1) They commit acts of political violence and (2) their activity extends beyond international borders.
Antifa members have engaged in military activities overseas, targeted federal facilities, and otherwise engaged in acts threatening U.S. national security.
That’s why the Center has repeatedly made the case that Antifa can be designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Claims by federal law enforcement leaders that Antifa is too disorganized to justify a designation do so by an obstructive reading of the governing legal definitions:
“Others argue that Antifa lacks any comprehensible structure and cannot be adequately described as an organization. While Antifa does deliberately maintain an amorphous and cellular structure, there are clear self-identified local and regional Antifa chapters which are networked across both state and international jurisdictions. Additionally, under the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) definition, which is the controlling definition for FTO Designation, an organization is defined to include, “a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in…” terrorist activity as defined by the INA.”
The tolerance of Antifa violence by the Biden administration and our bureaucratized counterterror apparatus makes it highly unlikely that Antifa will be designated any time soon. We should continue to build the case however, so that when responsible leadership returns to federal law enforcement and the intelligence community, action can be taken.
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