The explosion of riots and looting across the US have forced President Trump to do something never before seen in American history. He announced on Sunday that the violent far-left political action group ANTIFA will be formally designated as a terrorist organization in response to mounting accusations of the group’s role in the riots.
“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday. Trump’s decisive action against the violent anarchist group will change history. The federal government has never designated a domestic group as a terrorist organization, and no such statue currently exists in the federal government.
Both Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have pointed to ANTIFA as instigators of the violent protests breaking out all over the nation in the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “These are ‘Organized Groups’ that have nothing to do with George Floyd,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!”
Bill Barr also announced on Sunday that the Justice Department will work with 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to focus on “apprehending and charging the violent radical agitators who have hijacked peaceful protest and are engaged in violations of federal law.”
ANTIFA is a loosely organized militant movement that has attempted to brand itself as being “anti-fascist” — Hence the name. However, since its inception in the mid-2000s, the group has mostly attracted attention for wreaking chaos and violence wherever possible.
As Fox News puts it, ANTIFA is most well-known for “threatening and violently assaulting journalists, declaring that all police officers should be killed or at least fired, wearing dark clothing and ski masks that sometimes obscure their artificially colored hair, and even engaging in performative clashes with right-wing groups to dull the monotony of typical suburban life.”
Of course, left-wing politicians and public figures immediately decried Trump’s plans to designate ANTIFA as a terrorist group. “I have questioned the @FBI in Congress as to why they don’t use domestic terror labels for white supremacist groups. They testified that the law prevents labeling US groups as terrorists, w/ severe civil liberties concerns. Where is that concern today?” wrote far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Sunday.
The American Civil Liberties Union also blasted the decision, saying that “terrorism is an inherently political label, easily abused and misused. There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group.”
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