Federal Officers Are Still Struggling To Find Evidence Of A Massive Antifa Conspiracy

from the content-to-settle-for-lowball-arrests-of-randos-instead dept

Donald Trump’s lurid myths about bad hombres crossing the border to wreak havoc in the United States have failed to be ushered into existence by CBP and ICE. Try as they might, the two agencies have done little more than process a bunch of bog-standard illegal entries. And… um… target college students here legally. Numbers were fudged, but it has proven to be an exercise in futility. This attempt to villainize immigrants has been abandoned by both Trump and these DHS components.

Trump’s new favorite enemy-of-America is “antifa.” The president seems to believe antifa is a hierarchical organization capable of being crippled by intelligence gathering, strategic arrests, and the occasional extrajudicial killing. He’s wrong about this as well. But that’s not stopping the DHS and its protest-centered task forces from doing everything they can to prove some massive anti-facist conspiracy exists. This includes flying in FBI analysts and their tech to “exploit” data taken from arrestees’ phones in hopes of finding some link between ongoing protests and Big Leftist.

All the money being spent in hopes of toppling an idea and prosecuting federal crimes isn’t really accomplishing either of those tasks. As the AP reports, the feds aren’t having any luck massaging Trump’s antifa fever dreams into coherent shape. Nor are they really finding much federal crime to prosecute.

President Donald Trump portrays the hundreds of people arrested nationwide in protests against racial injustice as violent urban left-wing radicals. But an Associated Press review of thousands of pages of court documents tell a different story.

Very few of those charged appear to be affiliated with highly organized extremist groups, and many are young suburban adults from the very neighborhoods Trump vows to protect from the violence in his reelection push to win support from the suburbs.


In thousands of pages of court documents, the only apparent mention of antifa is in a Boston case in which authorities said a FBI Gang Task Force member was investigating “suspected ANTIFA activity associated with the protests” when a man fired at him and other officers. Authorities have not claimed that the man accused of firing the shots is a member of antifa.

Some of those arrested by federal officers are more profa than antifa.

John Malcolm Bareswill, angry that a local Black church held a prayer vigil for George Floyd, called the church and threatened to burn it to the ground, using racial slurs in a phone call overheard by children, prosecutors said. Bareswill, 63, of Virginia Beach, faces 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to making a telephonic threat.

Two Missouri militia members who authorities say traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to see Trump’s visit in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake were arrested at a hotel in September with a cache of guns, according to court documents. An attorney for one of the men, Michael Karmo, said he is “charged criminally for conduct that many Americans would consider patriotic,” as authorities have alleged his motive was to assist overwhelmed law enforcement.

There have been more than 300 arrests since this Trump-propelled charade began, but the feds are really stretching of the term “federal crime” to keep federal prosecutors in the mix. Arson (or attempted arson) isn’t normally a federal charge but that makes up about a quarter of the fed’s caseload. This allows the federal government to pursue sentences far harsher than those levied by states. In one case, the government’s lawyers argued the attempted torching of a cop car required federal charges because the police car was “used in interstate commerce.”

There’s also a lot of miscellaneous garbage being treated as federal crime. Nearly a third of the cases deal with things like disorderly conduct, impeding a federal officer, failing to obey lawful orders, and obstructing law enforcement. There are more serious tangents to these charges (assaulting an officer, rioting) but these are often handy ways to bring criminal charges against people who fail to show officers the respect they feel they’re owed. And “assaulting” an officer can mean something as harmless as pulling away from one when they try to grab you.

This zealousness to find an antifa link — and keep cases federal for maximum vindictiveness — has resulted in tragic absurdity.

A top federal prosecutor appointed by President Donald Trump held a news conference this week to announce that the “outstanding investigative work” of federal and state law enforcement officers had resulted in a federal felony charge against a 29-year-old bassist in an anarcho-punk band over a bag of weed.

An investigation was triggered after someone reported the bassist’s staged photos of him carrying a mock molotov cocktail. These were supposed to be promo shots for his band, but he released them after the George Floyd killing. Law enforcement raided Justin Coffman’s home in June. All they uncovered were a couple of legal guns, the fake molotov, and 24 grams of marijuana. Coffman was interrogated by the FBI after the raid. The agent questioning didn’t seem too concerned officers had found a personal use amount of pot in the home. But the agent was very interested in Coffman’s political beliefs. The FBI ultimately let the locals handle it. He was originally charged only with possession.

But the feds came back, apparently intent on making this anarcho-punk an example. The government brought federal gun charges against Coffman because it’s illegal to own guns when you’re a drug user. Those charges didn’t stick but the state’s creative “hoax device” charge did. That didn’t stop the president from congratulating law enforcement for managing to turn nothing into some handy “we’re taking apart antifa” propaganda.

This is your tax dollars working overtime to satisfy the cravings of an uninformed president content to traffic in conspiracy theories. And it’s a handy way to deter future protests against police brutality. But it does nothing to make the country safer or serve the people paying for it.

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Comments on “Federal Officers Are Still Struggling To Find Evidence Of A Massive Antifa Conspiracy”

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:


This analysis makes several arguments. First, far-right terrorism has significantly outpaced terrorism from other types of perpetrators, including from far-left networks and individuals inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Right-wing attacks and plots account for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of right-wing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years. Right-wing extremists perpetrated two thirds of the attacks and plots in the United States in 2019 and over 90 percent between January 1 and May 8, 2020. Second, terrorism in the United States will likely increase over the next year in response to several factors. One of the most concerning is the 2020 U.S. presidential election, before and after which extremists may resort to violence, depending on the outcome of the election. Far-right and far-left networks have used violence against each other at protests, raising the possibility of escalating violence during the election period.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I have not seen much evidence of those placed under the Antifa label wandering around with guns, but various instances of the right wing supporters waving their guns, and on occasion using them. The right extremists are a bigger threat Antifa.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

And if anyone will be a threat to voter safety on Election Day, it’ll be those same right-wing extremists — who’ve been goaded into threatening voter safety by Donald Trump, who knows he can’t win in a fair election and will do everything possible (up to and including the staging of a coup) to hold onto the power of the presidency.

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Now, Trump CANNOT legitimately win.

The Trump campaign (and Trump, personally) has pushed so much to suppress votes and to raise doubt about the legitimacy of the election polls that he cannot legitimately win, even if a black swan event were to bring zombie voters to the polls to vote for him.

It’s already been rooted into the public mind that Trump cheated and sabotaged the engine of democracy.

If he wins the common narrative will be he secured the election by cheating. Any numbers that might indicate he was popular cannot be trusted.

If he loses he only failed to secure the election by cheating. We still can’t trust the numbers but they didn’t do what he wanted. (And it won’t stop him from trying to secure the regime by coup, or by scorching the earth while he’s a lame duck)

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Do you want a civil war? Because that's how you get a civil war

It would be funny if the likely outcome weren’t so bloody, in that by calling the election into question and trying to undermine it at every turn he has ensured that neither side is going to be happy or accept the results whichever way it goes.

If he wins it will be because he cheated and the democrats are likely to contest it, and if he loses then his cult will refuse to accept it because as the Dear Leader has said time and time again the only way he could lose is if Biden cheated, with any evidence presented that contradicts that dismissed out of hand as heresy and fake news.

If he was trying to bring about a civil war or at the very least mass protests that make the ongoing BLM ones look downright tame I struggle to think of a better way to do so, which makes it all the more insane that his driving motivation is likely simply his ego and inability to accept that he could ever lose, especially to a person/party that he’s spent years denigrating, paired with his refusal to give up any power he might have.

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steell (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Why do you bother to make such ridiculous claims that are so easily disapproved?

Supporters page:

They also have a separate page for government support if you could be bothered to look.

Your entire post is 100% BS

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James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

According to the FBI, Antifa is not an organization. It is an ideology that is followed by local and regional groups, but has no central organization. You don’t get how that works, I understand. Hierarchies are the foundation of right-political thought and the idea that you can believe in something without a supreme leader to dictate group thought is beyond you, but antifa is not one organized group. (CMOA – The FBI has also stated that its decentralized nature doesn’t not mean Antifa ‘nodes’ can’t be threats or that violence or violent rhetoric isn’t employed by some adherents, only that talking about antifa as a single group with unified messaging and direction is innacurate) I’m curious though, who would the donors be that fund both this think tank and antifa? What is your evidence of the claim? Is it that centralized right-leaning organizations designated as terror threats by DHS are funded by the same people who fund organizations that claim the DHS is lying to the american public? Is this you projecting right wing dirty secrets onto the left again?

The quote doesn’t say that antifa is not a threat. It says that the data shows that when it comes to actual action in the US, most domestic terror activities (as defined in the paper) that occurred in recent years have been perpetuated by right-polictical movements, as opposed to left political movements, Religious movements, or ethno-nationalist movements. It explicitly acknowledges the presence of left-political violence and the threat left-political, right-political, and religious violence pose in the coming year. It only states that the most likely threat is right-political based on current trends, as also reflected in DHS communications.

Nor was the quote meant to disprove an assertion that antifa is a threat. Stone was David was posing agreement with Stone – nothing that the DHS is publicly more concerned with violence coming from the strongly organized national right-political groups as opposed to the loosely organized mostly local left-political groups. Rocky also supported this claim with data analysis indicating that currently Right-political violence is the major motivation behind most current violent events.

No one is saying what you think they are saying, suggesting you probably don’t know what you are arguing.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If pointing out facts makes someone a brainwashed radical leftist as per the poster I responded to, what do you call those who doesn’t believe in facts?

Also, do you have ANY evidence that those supporting CSIS also "funds Antifa"? Because there’s one itty bitty problem with your seriously spurious claim: Antifa isn’t an organisation – it’s a catch-all description for numerous groups and people that happens to have an overlap in being anti-fascists.

Perhaps little light reading will make you become a brainwashed radical leftist:

Among domestic terrorists, violent far-right terrorists are by far the most
numerous, lethal and criminally active. Over the last several decades, they are
responsible for more: failed plots; successful plots; pursuits of chemical or biological weapons; homicide events; and illicit financial schemes than international terrorists, including HVEs.
While domestic terrorism, and violent far-right terrorism specifically, is on the rise in the United States over the past several years, domestic terrorism and violent far right terrorism have been a persistent threat in the United States, which has ebbed and flowed in intensity. This is especially true if one includes hate and bias crimes as part of the threat landscape, as the motivations for hate and bias crime often conform to ideological tenets of violent far-right extremism.
See https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Testimony-Braniff-2019-09-25.pdf

Do that testimony from START classify as facts (which correlates with the findings from my first link)?

If you want, I can supply more links to reports from the Federal government.. But perhaps you think they are also "funded by nothing but left leaning donors and organizations".

Here’s one that’s interactive, perhaps that will help you ingest facts: https://apps.revealnews.org/homegrown-terror/
It even have references to sources, how neat!

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Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

So let me get this straight, you are quoting from a think tank funded by nothing but left leaning donors and organizations,

What?!? CSIS is anything but "left leaning." Dude. Come on. Among its top donors is Exxon and Ken Langone (who is a big Republican donor). It has some big Democratic donors too, but it’s not, at all, a left leaning institution.

Why do you guys always lie?

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Facts

A fact is an observation. In my room at 2020-10-24 17:18 my desk thermometer reads 77.9°F

Generally there’s no reason to question this fact, but yes, I could be lying. My clock or my thermometer might read incorrectly. I may have misread either one. But most likely, as I have no reason to fabricate this fact, you can read it as true to a reasonable level of precision (that is, it’s a cheap desk-clock thermometer, not a precision instrument for laboratory purposes).

When we are basing models on thousands of facts, it becomes more difficult to suggest they were fabricated unless the whole set was created in order to present a fictitious model. And that’s a lot of work which raises the question of motive.

My one lie from my one sample from my one desk isn’t going to matter much if you’re sampling many thermometers from many desks. A significant deception or error would surface somewhere downstream among those who collect and process the data.

It’s not always malevolent. NASA has had problems when transferring data from an eastern lab to one in America, and the process of converting metric measurements to imperial ones created enough error and deviation as to spoil the results. We just learned we needed more precise conversions, or better yet, have everyone switch to metric.

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JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"So let me get this straight, you are quoting from a think tank funded by nothing but left leaning donors and organizations, to support the claim that a left leaning organization (Antifa), that is funded by those same donors, is not a threat … Yeah that works for me (sarc)"

So let me get this straight, you’re claiming that Antifa is a threatening "organization" even though the FBI, who’ve never met a terrorist threat they couldn’t invent from whole cloth, can’t seem to find any evidence of such a threat… Yeah that works for me (sarc)

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"…you are quoting from a think tank funded by nothing but left leaning donors and organizations…"

The CSIS, that old Reagan-era war hawk think tank left-leaning? John McCain’s and henry bloody Kissinger’s old stomping ground?

Yeah, Baghdad Bob, that’s about the "accuracy" we expect from you. What next, claim Lincoln was a democrat?

But I’m game, would you like the exact same text and analysis, initially produced by the Department of Homeland Security instead?

Or would you like to drop the crack pipe for just one second and at least do a quick google before reflexively dropping a load in your pants every time you read something you don’t personally agree with?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Of course there's an Antifa conspiracy.

They can’t find it because they’re looking in the wrong place. The Antifa conspiracy is to be found in the republican party (particularly the Trumpist wing). What’s that? That’s not what you meant, Mr President? You meant a conspiracy BY Antifa? Not AGAINST Antifa?

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David says:

Re: Of course there's an Antifa conspiracy.

Well, there is an increasing number of citizens not ok with increasing fascist tendencies of government institutions putting government and associated privileged people’s welfare before that of the general populace. There are also people not on board with racist white supremacist ideology historically connected to some fascist regimes.

Currently their right to voice their concerns is not suppressed to a degree where it makes a lot of sense to talk of a "conspiracy", something that happens in secret.

But of course the long-term goals of Trump and his allies is to force people not underscribing his ideology into hiding.

James Gummer says:

Most of the people arrested are white nationalist who hate blacks and with the help of right wing racist media there saying the violence is done by BLM and ANTIFA. It is how the government works. The BLM protest should have stopped because of all the violent white supremes hijacking the movement. Once again blacks will suffer in the future thanks to these evil white racist sent by the government to destroy a peaceful movement

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Variations on Molotov Cocktails

From Wikipedia

The Polish Home Army developed a version which ignited on impact without the need of a wick. Ignition was caused by a reaction between concentrated sulfuric acid mixed with the fuel and a mixture of potassium chlorate and sugar which was crystallized from solution onto a rag attached to the bottle.

I keep hearing stories that run completely contrary to Pollack jokes. (Poles also cracked the Enigma code even before they were invaded in 1939.)

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Sue Prized says:

They should just go to Portland on any night!

Clearly, they don’t wish to find any "Antifa" as they aren’t reading online for where to go.

Phillip Anderson – who had his teeth knocked out by Antifa – banned by social media companies…


THIS NEXT graphically shows the barbarian thugs that Techdirt sides with.

EVIL AMONG US: Leftist Antifa Performs Satanic Ritual in Street and Eat a Heart Symbolic of President Trump (VIDEO)


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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:


Clearly, they don’t wish to find any "Antifa" as they aren’t reading online for where to go.

I’m sorry that the authorities don’t consider right-wing blogs to be credible sources of information about antifascists and the non-existent hierarchial organization known as “Antifa”, but that’s not an issue about which I care.

And per usual, you’ll ignore right-wing assholes like, say, the 13 men arrested and charged with plotting to kidnap and kill the governor of Michigan to whine about “leftist violence” and “antifa assholes”. Especially since your Lord, God, and Savior (i.e., Donald Trump) tells you to.

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Of course you find Antifa by following right-wing forums!

Antifa is organized by (I think) three creeds, one of which is to meet and confront fascism wherever it manifests. So the way you find the Black Bloc is by organizing a white supremacy rally, which is discussed on right-wing forums.

Of course when the police are aligned with the protestors, and are helping the Proud folk beat up the black bloc (even when the protestors cause more actual harm, like homicide and battery warranting hospitalization) it doesn’t look good when witnesses capture it on phone-camera and upload it to the internetz for all to see.

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dickeyrat says:

Yes, Antifa!! To be "anti-Fascist" is to be anti-Amerikan! Mom, Apple Pie, Baseball, Chevrolet and…Fascism! How dare–I mean, how DARE anyone come publicly come out against the fine, time-honoured institution of Fascism? Why, that’s almost like coming out against Blump himself, and Lord knows, we can’t have THAT!! What did those losers on the beaches of Normandy know, anyway? Hell, look at ’em now–they’re all dead! Fascism makes the trains run on time, provides lucrative employment to Patriots such as Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz, and Ron Johnson and Kelly Loeffler and Greg Abbott and Devin Nunes and Miss Lindsey Graham snd Jim Jordan and…well you get the idea. So Death to Antifa! Long Live Fascism! And for chrissakes, Sieg Heil MAGA!!

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