That same day, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he would designate Antifa a terrorist organization, even though the government has no existing authority to declare a domestic group a terrorist organization.
Following the president’s tweet, Attorney General William Barr said in a statement, “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.”
The FBI report, however, states, “based on CHS [Confidential Human Source] canvassing, open source/social media partner engagement, and liaison, FBI WFO has no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence.”
The statement followed a list of violent acts like bricks being thrown at police and a backpack containing explosive materials, which were flagged by the FBI under a “Key Updates” section of the report.
The FBI has been issuing such reports daily since the weekend, according to an FBI source, who added that none of these documents contained any evidence of Antifa violence.
The report did warn that individuals from a far-right social media group had “called for far-right provocateurs to attack federal agents, use automatic weapons against protesters.” (The Nation is withholding the name of the group in order to not disrupt any potential law enforcement investigations.) Read more:
ABOUT: Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) is The Nation‘s DC Correspondent. His reporting focuses on the machinations of the American national security state and documents under-the-radar politics and policies enacted by the Trump administration.
His previous reporting on the basis of leaked documents has revealed that the US military predicted and planned for a coronavirus pandemic years ago—and still the Trump administration did nothing; predicted how Trump is using the coronavirus to militarize the border, including his failed $145 million plan to surveil the Canadian border; shown the coronavirus crisis is giving Trump extraordinary and limitless powers to actively surveil and detain individuals; documented the crisis making its way into border detention facilities more than a week before ICE publicly acknowledged it; and revealed how Trump’s signature foreign policy led to the biggest Covid-19 outbreak among US troops in the world.
Klippenstein was previously senior investigative reporter for The Young Turks and a frequent contributor to The Daily Beast. His reporting has been referenced by countless outlets and cited by Congress—including, in one instance, to grill FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation has chronicled the breadth and depth of political and cultural life from the debut of the telegraph to the rise of Twitter, serving as a critical, independent, and progressive voice in American journalism.