Amid protests, Trump says he will designate Antifa as terrorist organization

Cheryl Sanders
June 1, 2020

"In that regard it is a federal crime to cross state lines or to use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting and we will enforce those laws", Barr said. He explained that groups of outside radicals have been "exploiting" the protests "to pursue their own separate violent agenda".

"In many places it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from outside the state to promote the violence", he added.

They will get full support from the U.S. Department of Justice - including the FBI, federal Marshals Service, ATF and DEA, as well as all 93 U.S. Attorneys across the country, he said.

While some are protesting demanding justice over Floyd's death, others are taking advantage of the situation by looting stores and rubbing businesses.

"Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!" he said.

It also undercuts the urgent work that needs to be done through constructive engagement between affected communities and law enforcement leaders to address legitimate grievances, he said.

He said: " Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night.

Despite threats by the President to designate various groups as terrorists, the closest the Trump administration has come is, in recent weeks, the State Department's designation of a white supremacist group called Russian Imperial Movement, which is a foreign group but has some domestic USA supporters, as a specially designated global terrorist group.

In response to the President's tweet, ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi said there is "no legal authority for designating a domestic group" as a terrorist organisation. "They are coming in largely from outside of the city, from outside of the region, to prey on everything that we have built over the last several decades". "My administration will stop mob violence and we'll stop it cold".

John Harrington, the head of Minnesota's Department of Public Safety, told a news conference on Sunday that about 20 percent of Saturday's arrest records were for people out-of-state, though he did not yet have the total number for Saturday night's arrests.

Preventing reconciliation and driving us apart is the goal of these radical groups, and we can not let them succeed, Barr said.

According to St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Mara Gottfried, St. Paul police said 18 people were arrested between Thursday and early Saturday morning.

In Minneapolis, there were reportedly 27 riot arrests between Friday and Saturday, with only three out-of-state arrests.

Meanwhile, in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, national security adviser Robert O'Brien accused the group of using organized and violent tactics, asking what the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been doing about it. "That system is working and is moving at exceptional speed". That process continues to move forward.

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