Behind the Poll
FBI Director Christopher Wray’s assessment that the far-left antifa network is an ideology, not a group or an organization, is coming under fire this week after prosecutors in San Diego charged several self-described anti-fascists in connection with eight alleged assaults.
Antifa is “not a group or an organization,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee last year. “It’s a movement or an ideology.”
He added that antifa was a “real thing” and that the FBI had undertaken “any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists.”
Critics are now speaking out against Wray’s description and the FBI’s approach to antifa following the arraignment of at least seven antifa militants earlier this week.
Those arraigned in San Diego Superior Court were part of a group arrested last Thursday in raids conducted by police officers and sheriff’s deputies across Southern California. The defendants “are self-identified to be affiliated with Anti-fascists or Antifa,” according to the criminal complaint.
“Video evidence analysis shows that overwhelmingly the violence in this incident was perpetrated by the Antifa affiliates and was not a mutual fray with both sides crossing out of lawful First Amendment expression into riot and violence,” said the office of San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan in a press release.
Retired FBI Special Agent Jeff Danik agreed with Shideler that local authorities need to fill the void left by federal law enforcement.
-By Aaron Kliegman