The US will designate anti-fascist group Antifa as a terrorist organisation, President Donald Trump said yesterday.
Anti-government and anti-capitalist Antifa members are often seen as more closely aligned with anarchists than the mainstream left, US 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,” Barr added.
Trump accused Antifa of starting riots at street protests over George Floyd’s death. Floyd died in police custody last week after an officer was seen kneeling on his neck, suffocating him.
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
Antifa – short for anti-fascist action – is a protest movement that strongly opposes neo-Nazis, fascism, white supremacists and racism. It is considered to be a loosely organised group of activists with no leaders.
In the international arena, there has been many concerns that some Antifa activists have joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terror group, in Syria, where they received military training.
FLASHBACK: Antifa members trained with designated foreign terrorist group in Syria pic.twitter.com/KYeljwN5xI
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) May 31, 2020
According to FBI documents and briefings obtained by Politico, an American journalism company, the Department of Homeland Security describes Antifa as a “domestic terrorist group”.
Antifa fighters fought alongside PKK terrorists in Ayn Al-Arab (Kobani), Tal Abyad, Manbij and the city of Raqqa, Politico reported.
In 2017, Turkish Police Academy warned against the Antifa threat saying it is part of the “PKK’s Regional Terror Network”.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.