Antifa has a reputation for causing trouble, and individuals who claim to be affiliated with antifa have been reportedly showing up to the recent George Floyd protests nationwide — not to promote change but to spark violence.
“Antifa is a movement; antifa is an idea,” said Jim Derrane, a retired FBI special agent. “And certain people that profess to be involved with antifa … but there is no real organization; there is no structure.”
We saw antifa confront right wing groups in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. More recently, there has been antifa protesting in the Pacific Northwest. Antifa is defined as a group of far-left activists, who typically show up to confront members of far-right groups.
The FBI says antifa uses social media to organize, but there’s no specific organization or leadership structure.
Members are known to engage in “Doxxing.” That’s putting names, addresses and other private information of their opponents online, setting them up for threats and harassment.
Currently, there’s no good estimate about how many people actually identify themselves with antifa. People come and go.
FBI joint terrorism task forces handle these investigations, usually with agents specializing in domestic terrorism.
Now, President Donald Trump wants to designate them as a terrorist group.
“As far as actually labeling them as a terrorist group, as a domestic organization, the United States doesn’t have a mechanism,” Derrane said.
But that doesn’t mean the FBI and other law enforcement don’t take their presence seriously.
“We are committed to identifying, investigating and stopping individuals who are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.