/ June 2, 2020
Anarchist groups from outside New York City used the death of George Floyd and the protests it sparked as cover to plan and carry out violent acts in the city, the New York Police Department's terrorism commissioner said.
There is a high level of confidence within the NYPD that the anarchist groups organized scouts, medics, and supply routes of rocks, bottles and accelerants for breakaway groups to commit vandalism and violence, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said, according to New York's NBC 4.
There are strong indicators the anarchists planned for violence in advance using at times encrypted communications, Miller said.
"Before the protests began, organizers of certain anarchists groups set out to raise bail money and people who would be responsible to be raising bail money, they set out to recruit medics and medical teams with gear to deploy in anticipation of violent interactions with police," Miller said.
Miller said the anarchists "developed a complex network of bicycle scouts to move ahead of demonstrators in different directions of where police were and where police were not for purposes of being able to direct groups from the larger group to places where they could commit acts of vandalism including the torching of police vehicles and Molotov cocktails where they thought officers would not be."
Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill in upstate New York, was accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle that was occupied by four police officers. When she was being cuffed, federal prosecutors say that she bit one of the officer's leg.
According to charging documents, Shader allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail at 1:12 a.m. in Brooklyn Saturday morning. The FBI says it shattered two windows of the NYPD vehicle and damaged the vehicle while officers were inside. The complaint alleges that the FBI was able to get video of the incident from a witness.
Prosecutors say that Shader "has traveled the country committing various crimes, which include acts of violence and resisting arrest" including a 2019 officer interference conviction in Waterford, Connecticut.
Antifa, one of the most visible and violent anarchist groups in the U.S., has been blamed by several officials for much of the violence taking place since this month's riots began.
President Donald Trump has said he will declare Antifa a terrorist organization.
"It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!" Trump tweeted.
Attorney General William Barr on Saturday identified Antifa as the main culprit in promoting the nationwide riots.
"The continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protestors, as well as all other citizens... The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly," Barr said.
Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough noted on June 1 that the "prime goal of far-left Antifa is to rid America of 'whiteness' as a race, according to a handbook written by a historian who helped organize the anarchist 'Occupy Wall Street' movement in 2011."
Anti-capitalist author Mark Bray rejects “exterminating” whites. Instead, he proposes to remove it as a race and thus terminate its high standing while creating a “classless society” that would naturally do away with crime.
“This does not mean exterminating people who are currently categorized as white, but abolishing the classificatory scheme that renders them so,” he writes in the 2017 “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.”
In 2018, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison posted a photo of himself online holding and endorsing the “Anti-Fascist Handbook.” His son said he is a proud Antifa backer.
Portland-based independent journalist Andy Ngo has perhaps most extensively documented attacks by self-described Antifa members in recent years. Last June, Ngo himself was attacked by Antifa while covering their confrontation with the far-right Proud Boys group, and suffered a brain injury.
Ngo told Fox News that Trump's efforts to consider Antifa a terror group "will provide a framework for local authorities and, especially, federal authorities to start investigating this criminal cartel for the street thugs that they are."
"In addition to the street hooliganism that we see over and over on the streets of America, this movement also has a political ideology that is agitating for a violent political revolution," Ngo added.
Left-wing academics, meanwhile, "have defended Antifa," Fox News noted. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history at New York University, told The New York Times that Antifa's tactics of physically assaulting political opponents tend to attract negative press only because the right-wing media is being very unfair about it.
Reports and social media posts over the weekend chronicled some of the violent acts allegedly carried out by anarchists who have hijacked the George Floyd protest movement.
• In Richmond
, Police Chief Will Smith said rioters set fire to an occupied multi-family residence with a child inside, then repeatedly blocked firefighters’ access to the scene. Police were eventually able to get to the residence and clear the way for firefighters to rescue the family.
• In North Carolina
, the editor of a progressive newspaper, who only hours prior had celebrated the protests-turned-riots, had to take cover from looters and vandals in the basement of Indy Week after they had broken into the newspaper's offices.
Free Press International