2016 DHS assessment: Antifa is committing "domestic terrorist violence"

Before you read Politico’s story on the DHS analysis, read Matt Labash’s eyewitness account of Antifa droogs stomping people last weekend in Berkeley. Remember the “Patriot Prayer” rally that was supposed to happen but ended up being canceled under pressure? Patriot Prayer isn’t a white-supremacist group but they’re smeared that way by some on the left because alt-righters have showed up at some of their rallies. The group’s leader, Joey Gibson, is half-Asian. Labash hooked up with Gibson and his sidekick, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, and accompanied them to a local park where a “No to Marxism” rally was supposed to have been held before being canceled. Instead it was leftists and Antifas who had occupied the area. Gibson wanted to try to talk to the enemy. Labash describes what happened next:

As I’m reading the action into my recorder, antifa slides around me on all sides, nearly carrying me off like a breaking wave. The boys are about 20 yards off and walk backwards. Pete catches a shot right on his stars’n’stripes dome from a two-by-four and goes down, blacking out for a second. Tiny, trying to protect everybody, pulls him up with his massive Samoan hand and pushes him out of the scrum. The mob ignores Pete, as he’s just an appetizer. Joey is the entree.

First he catches a slap in the head, then someone gashes him with something in his ribs. He keeps his hands up, as though that will save him, while he keeps getting dragged backwards by his shirt, Tiny trying to pull him away from the bloodthirsty ninjas. Someone crashes a flagpole smack on Joey’s head, which will leave a welt so big that Tiny later calls him “the Unicorn.” Not wishing to turn his back on the crowd, a half-speed backwards chase ensues, as Joey and Tiny are blasted with shots of bear spray and pepper spray. They hurdle a jersey barrier, crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Way while antifa continue throwing bottles at them.

Homeland Security has known for more than a year that it might turn this bad, especially if Trump became president and left-wing radicals used him as a rallying point to get more aggressive. According to Politico, in spring 2016 the department formally classified Antifa’s activities as “domestic terrorist violence.” You should read all of Politico’s story as there are too many choice parts to excerpt, but the most eye-opening part has to do with how Antifa is organized. Apologetics for the group typically involve the idea that it’s not an organization at all; supposedly it’s more or less random mobs of leftist radicals showing up under a common banner (and not always a common banner) with no coordination between them. But that’s not quite true:

They claim to have no leader and no hierarchy, but authorities following them believe they are organized via decentralized networks of cells that coordinate with each other. Often, they spend weeks planning for violence at upcoming events, according to the April 2016 DHS and FBI report entitled “Baseline Comparison of US and Foreign Anarchist Extremist Movements.”…

By the spring of 2016, the anarchist groups had become so aggressive, including making armed attacks on individuals and small groups of perceived enemies, that federal officials launched a global investigation with the help of the U.S. intelligence community, according to the DHS and FBI assessment.

The purpose of the investigation, according to the April 2016 assessment: To determine whether the U.S.-based anarchists might start committing terrorist bombings like their counterparts in “foreign anarchist extremist movements” in Greece, Italy and Mexico, possibly at the Republican and Democratic conventions that summer…

Some of the antifa activists have gone overseas to train and fight with fellow anarchist organizations, including two Turkey-based groups fighting the Islamic State, according to interviews and internet postings.

Organized by “cells,” connections and training overseas, a possible drift towards bombings: That does sound terrorist-y, come to think of it. According to one “senior state law enforcement official,” some Antifa members have been placed on terror watch lists due to the threat they present.

So then it’s settled: It’s time for the federal government to designate them as a “terrorist organization,” right? Before you say yes, read Andy McCarthy’s argument that that’s a bad idea notwithstanding the danger posed by the group. McCarthy’s a former federal prosecutor himself who helped send the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing to jail; he’s plenty hard on terror but he also believes in drawing a bright line between American citizens engaged in terrorist activities, who are entitled to constitutional protections, and foreign terrorists, who aren’t. You don’t want to make that line blurry, as it’s guaranteed to be abused by either left-wing or right-wing administrations in the future (probably both). The police can and should handle Antifa. Which raises a question: What exactly did Barack Obama’s DOJ do last year to get a jump on this threat when DHS issued its assessment of concern? What did Obama himself do to speak out against what he had reason to know was a security risk? Anything?

Here’s Gibson last week among the droogs. By the way, the president of Dartmouth spoke up recently to criticize Prof. Mark Bray, the Dartmouth lecturer who’s been turning up on talk shows to spin Antifa’s sociopathy as some form of preemptive self-defense against the allegedly growing Nazi menace. Dartmouth’s faculty is on Bray’s side, of course.