WASHINGTON – An expert on terrorism says it’s no surprise that antifa’s campaigns are described by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI as terrorism.
Joseph Giacalone, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a retired NYPD sergeant, explained to WND how multiple dimensions of antifa actions qualify.
“The definition of terrorism, like the act itself, continues to evolve causing much confusion in the eyes of the public,” Giacalone said Friday. “Anarchist groups satisfy all three prongs of the definition: operate within the U.S., involved in dangerous acts that violate fed and state law and appear to intimidate or coerce a civilian population.
“By stifling free speech and [the] freedom to assemble one can make an argument for coercion. Going after people by exposing them, posting addresses, listing family your members and other ‘doxxing’ could also fall within that realm,” Giacalone added.
Giacalone also noted that many of the white supremacist groups that antifa battles also employ such tactics.
The comments came after a report that both the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI classified the leftist extremist group as perpetrators of “domestic terrorist violence.”
The agencies highlighted the movement’s penchant for organized, premeditated violence against American citizens.
Politico reported authorities considered “anarchist extremists” as the primary threat against public rallies and a “range of targets,” noting them as the instigators of violence.
“These antifa guys were showing up [to rallies] 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,” one senior law enforcement official told Politico.
After antifa groups attacked a “lawfully organized white supremacist” event in Sacramento, California, authorities learned the extent to which these groups go to plan their attacks against political opponents.
“The antifa groups 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,” a DHS report said.
In fact, several of these violent anarchists have been placed on terrorism watch lists.
Pamela Geller, editor-in-chief of the Geller Report and president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, believes that antifa terrorism is whitewashed by the media in much the same way as Islamic terrorism and that the two groups share much in common.
“The leftist media frequently carries water for jihad groups, whitewashing their crimes and misleading the public about the nature of jihad activity,” Geller told WND. “We have seen Black Lives Matter collaborate with Palestinian jihad groups. Both the left and Islamic groups have a shared hatred of America, and make common cause on that basis.”
Evidence for the left turning a blind eye to jihadi violence is readily available, such as the Obama administration refusing to classify the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 as terrorism.
Despite the fact shooter Nidal Hasan admitted he carried out the attack that killed 13 on behalf of the Taliban, the Department of Defense called the attack “workplace violence.”
Geller notes that antifa attacked a peaceful anti-Shariah law protest, demonstrating how the left and radical Islamist often work in tandem.
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for example, an antifa counter-protester at the “March Against Shariah” attacked a police horse with a nail attached to a flag pole, injuring the animal.
“That is a good indication of the alliance, and not the first time Antifa has attacked peaceful, patriotic Americans,” Geller explained.
Geller noted the violence from the left isn’t limited to antifa.
“Look at the blind eye and tacit approval that leftist leaders give to antifa, BLM, Occupy, etc. They want violence and civil war in the U.S,” she said.
Giacalone believes the primary response by law enforcement will be infiltration.
“There have been reports of infiltration by law enforcement – which seems to be the preferred choice. This is the group’s major weakness,” Giacalone said.
“Besides infiltration, I believe police departments will be heavily monitoring social media and other online communication such as bulletin boards, forums and the like. Gathering intel is critical on defusing any dust-ups between rival groups,” he concluded.