The Department of Homeland Security in 2016 formally classified the actions of the anarchist group Antifa as "domestic terrorist violence," Politico reported.
Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials of Antifa's increasingly dangerous tactics — including attacks on the police — since early 2016 but were widely ignored long before Charlottesville and while Barack Obama was still president, Politico reported.
Further, DHS and the FBI were worried that Antifa might resort to terrorist bombings at one or both of the political conventions last summer, Politico reported.
Though it reportedly exists without a leader or official chain of command, Antifa members are connected and operate much like terrorist cells do, and in April of 2016, a joint report by the FBI and DHS members spend weeks planning for violence at selected events, Politico reported.
And the escalation had been on the feds' radar long before the rest of the country — including the media — caught up.
"Both the racists and a segment of violent Antifa counter-protestors are amped for battle in an escalating arms race, where police departments are outmaneuvered, resulting in increasingly violent dangerous confrontations," former New York City police officer Brian Levin, who has been monitoring domestic militants for 31 years, told Politico. "It's an orchestrated dance. The rallies spill over into social media and then even more people show up at the next rally primed for violent confrontation."
Also in that April 2016 report, the FBI and DHS warned that Antifa would get more violent if "fascist, nationalist, racist or anti-immigrant parties obtain greater prominence or local political power in the United States, leading to anti-racist violent backlash from anarchist extremists," Politico reported.
Further, Politico reports that some of the Antifa terrorists traveled to Turkey to train with kindred organizations, including two fighting against ISIS.
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