The FBI is launching an investigation into people “motivated to commit violent criminal activity” by “Antifa ideology,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Thursday.
And the good news just keeps on a comin’. This is long overdue. Wray became FBI Director in August, following U.S. Senate confirmation. President Donald Trump had nominated Wray to replace James Comey, who was fired May 9.
“We do have a very active domestic terrorism program,” Wray told the House Homeland Security Committee. “And while we’re not investigating Antifa as Antifa — that’s an ideology and we don’t investigate ideologies — we are investigating a number of what we would call anarchist-extremist investigations where we have properly predicated subjects of people who are motivated to commit violent criminal activity on kind of an Antifa ideology.”
These terrorists belong at Gitmo with their partners in treason.
Wray said the FBI was investigating about 1,000 domestic terror cases and all were based on threats rather than “ideology, opinion or rhetoric.” He added that out of about 1,000 open domestic terror investigations, all are focused on actual physical threats.
Wray stressed on Thursday that the FBI was not pursuing members of the far-left group because of their association with the group, saying there must be credible evidence before the Bureau can open an investigation.
“In order to open an investigation there has to be credible evidence of federal crime, [and]threat of force or violence to further a political or social goal,” said the director. “And if we have all of those three things then we open a very aggressive investigation.”
The FBI is investigating people inspired by “kind of an Antifa ideology,”
Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke echoed those concerns and said that though her department is also taking steps to curb domestic terrorism.
“One of the major things we’ve done is open the Office of Terrorism Prevention Partnerships, which is making sure every piece of information we get, state and local governments get […] to deal with any types of hate crimes in these groups,” she said.
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,”
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.
Antifa and the alt-right have clashed at various locations in 2017 including Berkeley and Charlottesville. Establishment media have closely followed alt-right agitation, however, Antifa violence often goes uncovered.
Antifa has gained prominence since last year following the violent clashes across the U.S. on university campuses and other gatherings. The loosely connected left-wing group of Antifa supporters has been criticized for using coordinated violence against people they deem to be espousing far-right ideology.
Federal agencies reportedly warned in 2016 about the possible outbreak of violent clashes or “domestic terrorist violence” perpetrated by the anarchists.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security said that “anarchist extremists” and Antifa groups were the leading instigators of violence in public spaces, where they attack police, government and political institutions, racists, fascists and “symbols of capitalism,” Fox News reported.
The extreme left Antifa came to the fore of the national political debate in August after a series of violent and destructive protests.
Those protests and counter-protests culminated in violence at a rally staged by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. A counter-protester was killed when an individual who attended the rally drove a vehicle into a crowd of left-wing activists.
President Trump was criticized sharply, at the time, for emphasizing that there was violence “on both sides” at the rally, when the murder victim was a member of counter-protesters. The incident also put a spotlight on cases of Antifa threatening violence to stymie speeches by right-wing political figures, ranging from alt-right speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos to conventional conservatives such as Ben Shapiro.
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