Attorney General William Barr has directed federal prosecutors in New Jersey and Texas to head up a task force targeting “anti-government extremists” such as Antifa and Boogaloo in the wake of riots that erupted in several cities following the death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis.
Craig Carpenito, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, and Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for Northern Texas, will lead other prosecutors and the FBI in gathering information about “extremist individuals, networks, and movements,” according a memo obtained by The Washington Post.
The task force is to share their information with local law enforcement and provide training to prosecutors on how to prosecute the individuals and groups.
In his memo, Barr wrote that anti-government militants had infiltrated protests over the death of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day while under arrest.
“Among other lawless conduct, these extremists have violently attacked police officers and other government officials, destroyed public and private property, and threatened innocent people,” the memo reads. “Although these extremists profess a variety of ideologies, they are united in their opposition to the core constitutional values of a democratic society governed by law ... Some pretend to profess a message of freedom and progress, but they are in fact forces of anarchy, destruction and coercion.”
The far-left Antifa, which the Department of Homeland Security declared as a terrorist organization in 2017, and the far-right “boogaloo” movement were singled out by Barr as primary targets of the task force.
The goal of the task force will not only be to target individuals for prosecution, Barr’s memo said, but to “stop such violence before it occurs and ultimately eliminate it as a threat to public safety and the rule of law.”
The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment from TheHill.com, which also reported on the story.
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