The thugs in the group known as “antifa” just got a warning from on high:
The Obama administration might have closed its eyes to their criminal behavior, but with President Donald Trump in the White House, the FBI is taking a very close look at violence by antifa and likeminded gangs on the political left that’s only been growing in recent years.
Speaking Thursday before the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray pledged that the bureau is currently conducting a number of “anarchist-extremist investigations” against individuals who may be motivated by an ideology similar to antifa.
But he cautioned that the agency isn’t specifically targeting antifa as an organization or terror group because it apparently represents an ideology more than an organization.
“That’s an ideology and we don’t investigate ideologies,” Wray said, according to Fox News. “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.
“Because of the First Amendment issues and the freedom of expression issues and the somewhat ugly history that the FBI has had in the past, we have very specific rules on the domestic terrorism front,” Wray added in defense of the agency’s decision to not specifically target antifa.
“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. And if we have all of those three things then we open a very aggressive investigation.”
Considering the very public, well-documented nature of antifa’s members’ recent activities — and their apparent willingness to engage in even more violence — the group more than meets the criteria for a “very aggressive investigation” from the bureau.
And that’s not the only reason antifa should be worried.
According to the Washington Examiner, Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke chimed in as well during the hearing, boasting of her own agency’s efforts toward stopping potential acts of terror.
“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.
By “these groups” she meant all terror-linked organizations, including the Islamic State state group and white supremacists.
Thursday’s committee hearing follows a report published several months earlier in which it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security had formally classified the terrorist-like behavior of those affiliated with Antifa as “domestic terrorist violence,” as reported by Politico.
“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,” Politico noted.
“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.”
Given this information, I can’t help but wonder why Wray won’t just just simply classify antifa itself as a terrorist organization.
Where I come from, if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, it’s always a duck. And since antifa invariably looks, acts and speaks like a terrorist network, I daresay it’s exactly that.
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H/T The Daily Caller