Rep. Banks: ‘Antifa Meets the Definition of Domestic Terrorism’

Mark Jennings | August 2, 2019 | 1:01pm EDT
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Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.)

( – On Aug. 1, House Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray stating that he believes the activities of the left-wing Antifa group constitute “domestic terrorism.” Banks urged the FBI director to place Antifa in a category of “extremist ideologies.”

“As a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, I am intimately familiar with the tactics of terrorist groups and how they employ fear/violence to silence political enemies,” said Banks in his letter.  “To my great surprise, we are witnessing similar style tactics right here in our country. The FBI must take this threat seriously." 

Banks continued, “While the FBI declines to keep a public or official list of domestic terrorist organizations, it does outline extremist ideologies that often lead to domestic terrorism. The list, accessible on the FBI website, does not include a category under which Antifa could reasonably be counted.”

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“Given the rise in terrorist activities by Antifa members, and the organization’s presence in several major American cities, it’s my suggestion that the FBI add a subsection that properly encompasses Antifa’s political goals as openly broadcasted by its leaders on their social media platforms,” wrote Congressman Banks.

Antifa refers to a loosely organized group of radical left-wing activists who use violence to intimidate their opponents and dissuade them from publicly organizing. Antifa frequently targets conservatives and supporters of President Trump.

“On June 19, 2019, a mob of Antifa members violently assaulted journalist Andy Ngo, as he reported on opposing political protests in Portland, Oregon,” wrote Banks.  “Mr. Ngo suffered serious head injuries, including bleeding in his brain. The long-term consequences of his injuries remain uncertain, but Mr. Ngo continues to experience negative symptoms, including memory loss, and cognitive communication deficit.”

“On July 13, 2019, Antifa member Willem Van Spronsen threw firebombs at an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington, before attempting to ignite the facility’s large propane tank,” said the congressman. “He was shot dead by police at the scene. Seattle Antifascist Action described him as ‘a martyr who gave his life to the struggle against fascism.’”

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Those actions by Antifa were largely ignored by the liberal media and leftist politicians who support Antifa.

Banks’ letter is not the first time members of Congress have attempted to crack down on violent left-wing organizations.

Following the attack on Andy Ngo, Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced a resolution to designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization. In a press release, Cassidy said, “Antifa are terrorists, violent masked bullies who ‘fight fascism’ with actual fascism, protected by Liberal privilege.”

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Additionally, Representatives Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.) and Peter King (R-N.Y.) introduced a resolution last year targeting masked Antifa activists, making the commission of a crime while wearing a mask a federal crime.

“Antifa often describes itself as a ‘counter protest’ organization with the stated goal of suppressing fascist speech, political demonstrations, and media,” said Banks.  “Conveniently, Antifa has redefined fascism to include anyone who disagrees with their opaque political agenda.”

“What that agenda is exactly is imprecise by design,” he said, “their central aim is to silence any and all moderate and conservative politics or ideologies.”


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