President Donald Trump along with his allies have sought to blame left-wing extremists for that violence and looting at US protests over police brutality while local authorities and watchdog groups have pointed on the threat posed by right-wing movements.
A recently available US intelligence assessment reviewed by Reuters in the week said many of the violence at protests appears to are already driven by opportunists. Nevertheless the assessment also said there was clearly some evidence that organized extremists were linked with violence or promoting it online.
WHICH GROUPS Are SINGLED OUT?
President Donald Trump and several fellow Republicans have sought to blame the left-wing anti-fascist Antifa movement but have presented little evidence.
Liberal watchdog groups plus some local authorities have warned that people in the anti-government “boogaloo” movement or white supremacist groups could infiltrate protests.
Federal prosecutors filed charges in the week against three alleged boogaloo members charged with plotting to cause destruction and violence at Las Vegas protest.
What Exactly Is ANTIFA?
Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” is an amorphous movement whose adherents oppose people or groups they consider authoritarian or racist, in line with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which monitors extremists. Antifa aims to “intimidate and dissuade racists,” however its aggressive tactics including physical confrontations can make “a vicious, self-defeating cycle of attacks, counter-attacks and blame,” the ADL said.
The FBI has been increasingly concerned about violence perpetrated by Antifa at public events, according to a 2018 report by the Congressional Research Service, a public policy research arm of the US Congress.
How Come ANTIFA SO WELL-KNOWN?
Antifa grew in notoriety after a 2017 rally inVirginia and Charlottesville, organized by white supremacists and white nationalists who clashed violently with counter-protesters. Trump drew criticism afterward when he said there was “very fine people for both sides” and blamed “many sides” for the violence. Trump specifically mentioned Antifa.
“You know, they appear from the helmets and also the black masks, and they’ve got clubs and they’ve got everything,” Trump said of Antifa days once the rally.
Mark Bray, author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook,” said Trump was working on Antifa to redirect the conversation from social and economic discontent in the usa at the heart in the protests.
“There just aren’t enough people in Antifa groups on the market to perform everything they’re being blamed for,” said Bray, a lecturer of all time at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
WHAT IS THE BOOGALOO MOVEMENT?
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, the anti-government boogaloo movement embodies a militant ideology whose members believe the United States will enter into a second civil war. Boogaloo followers anticipate the government will try to confiscate people’s guns.
The boogaloo ideology itself is not white supremacist, but some white supremacist groups have embraced it, the ADL found.
“Whereas the militia movement and radical gun rights activists typically promote the boogaloo being a war against the government or liberals, white supremacists conceive in the boogaloo being a race war or possibly a white revolution,” the ADL wrote inside a November analysis.
Boogaloo groups have started in popularity online previously year. The Tech Transparency Project, a Washington-based tech watchdog group, found thousands of people joined boogaloo-related Facebook groups spanning a 30-day period in March and April as stay-at-home orders took effect across america in order to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus. Project researchers found discussions about tactical weapons, creating and strategies explosives in some boogaloo Facebook groups.
How About WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND WHITE NATIONALISTS?
A small number of white supremacists and white nationalists have been spotted at recent protests, according to watchdog groups and media reports. The Nationalist Social Club, a neo-Nazi group, appeared to obtain had some presence at protests in Boston and KnoxvilleTennessee and Knoxville, the ADL said. Members of the far-right Proud Boys were seen at North Oregon and Carolina protests last weekend, according to media reports.
Doubted they would pose a credible violent threat, even though nate Snyder, a former US Department of Homeland Security counter-terrorism official, said it is likely anarchists were among the protesters in recent days.