Donald Trump says the United States will label Antifa a 'terrorist organisation'

Cheryl Sanders
June 1, 2020

Now the USA government has identified 79 active foreign terrorist groups with the listing including the likes of HAMAS, ISIS, The IRA, Hezbollah with one of the key criteria to be declared a terrorist organisation being: The organization's terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defence, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

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.

Antifa, short for anti-fascists, is an umbrella term for a far-left-leaning movement with no designated leadership that is opposed to far-right ideologies.

But it was not clear that Trump's declaration would have any real meaning beyond his characteristic attempts to stir a culture-war controversy, attract attention and please his conservative base. This is an ANTIFA Organization.

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Antifa positions can be hard to define, but many members support oppressed populations and protest the amassing of wealth by corporations and elites.

That law has not been expanded to domestic groups for good reason: such a law, many fear, could tempt a leader to deploy it against political rivals. "But right now, the only terrorist authority is for foreign terrorist organizations".

Federal law enforcement will be used to apprehend and charge "violent radical agitators", the attorney general said.

"The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly", Mr Barr said in a statement released on Sunday.

On Saturday, Barr released a statement about the riots across several prominent USA cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, Seattle, and New York City.

"As this tweet demonstrates, terrorism is an inherently political label, easily abused and misused". "There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group. Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns".

Trump's announcement came as he sought to place blame for angry protests - some that have turned violent - gripping the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, and other acts of police brutality.

Local governments, meanwhile, have largely blamed "outsiders" for the violence seen at protests nationwide.

O'Brien said the Federal Bureau of Investigation needed to "come up with a plan" to deal with Antifa.

"And if that hasn't been happening, we want to know what the plan is going forward", he said.

In April, Washington took that step for the first time, designating a Russia-based white supremacist group, the Russian Imperial Movement, as terrorists. "And they are using military-style tactics and traveling around the country to take advantage of these situations and burn down our cities".

Aside from Trump and his top allies, U.S. officials and state and local officials say the violence and destruction in cities across the country involves multiple groups, on the right and left, including but not limited to Antifa.

While some critics smirked at the idiocy of the president's initial threat on Twitter-"What an idiot", said one-others warned that the implications of Trump following through on such a threat would be very serious.

Other reports by iNewsToday