Anarchist violent extremists are anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists who consider capitalism and centralized government to be unnecessary and oppressive, and who further their political or social goals wholly or in part through illegal activities involving threat or use of force or violence in violation of criminal law. In support of their goals of eliminating capitalism and the current form of the US Government, anarchist violent extremists oppose economic globalization; political, economic, and social hierarchies based on class, religion, race, gender, or private ownership of capital; and external forms of authority represented by centralized government, the military, and law enforcement. Anarchist violent extremists believe the abolition of capitalism and the state would restore equality and encourage the need for mutual cooperation.
The following symbols and phrases are sometimes used by anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists, specifically anarchist violent extremists (AVEs). AVE symbols are often found on online platforms, in propaganda, and as graffiti. Some common themes for AVE symbols include images and stylized rhetoric conveying anti-capitalist, anti-fascist, or anti-government or anti-law enforcement sentiment. Although the majority of criminal activity by AVEs violates state or local laws, some crimes may be investigated and prosecuted at the federal level. The use or sharing of these symbols or phrases alone should not independently be considered evidence of AVE presence or affiliation or serve as an indicator of illegal activity. Additionally, some individuals use such references for their original, historic meaning, or other non-violent purposes. The FBI does not investigate, collect, or maintain information solely for the purposes of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment.
We assess that some violent opportunists have become more emboldened following a series of attacks against law enforcement during the last 24 hours nationwide. This could lead to an increase in potentially lethal engagements with law enforcement officials as violent opportunists increasingly infiltrate ongoing protest activity. We also have received an increase in reports on shots fired during lawful protests nationwide—an indicator we associate with the potential for increased violence moving forward—and several uncorroborated reports of probably violent opportunists pre-staging improvised weapons at planned protest venues. Law enforcement officers continue to be the primary targets of firearm attacks, though several incidents last night involved violent opportunists shooting into crowds of protestors.
We assess that violent opportunists will continue to exploit ongoing nationwide lawful protests as a pretext to attempt to disrupt law enforcement operations; target law enforcement personnel, assets, and facilities; and damage public and private property. We have identified multiple tactics currently at play, including the use of weapons, counter-mobility, physical barriers, screening and concealment, intercepted communications, and pre-operational activities.
Self-described Antifa groups have been established across the United States and in several major cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco. A majority of New Jersey-based anarchist groups are affiliated with the Antifa movement and are opposed to “fascism,” racism, and law enforcement. Antifa groups coordinate regionally and have participated in protests in New York City and Philadelphia. There are three loosely organized chapters in New Jersey, known as the North Jersey Antifa, the South Jersey Antifa, and the HubCity Antifa New Brunswick (Middlesex County).
Terrorist and violent extremist groups have long expressed interest in poisoning and adulterating food and beverage supplies in the West but rarely use this as a tactic. Nonetheless, recent incidents in Europe and Africa underscore the continued interest by some groups in targeting food products at point-of-sale, distribution, and storage. The mere threat of product adulteration in the Homeland almost certainly would cause psychological and economic harm. While we have not seen any specific, credible terrorist threats against Homeland food production and distribution infrastructure, we cannot rule out the possibility of inspired violent extremists or disgruntled insiders attempting to adulterate or poison food and beverages with commonly available toxic industrial chemicals or crude biological toxins due to the relative ease of product manipulation, especially at the last point of sale, which criminal actors have demonstrated consistently in the past.
(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Intelligence Assessment: Baseline Comparison of US and Foreign Anarchist Extremist Movements
This joint DHS and FBI Assessment examines the possible reasons why anarchist extremist attacks in certain countries abroad and in the United States differ in the frequency of incidents and degree of lethality employed in order to determine ways US anarchist extremists actions might become more lethal in the future. This Assessment is intended to establish a baseline comparison of the US and foreign anarchist extremist movements and create new lines of research; follow-on assessments will update the findings identified in the paper, to include the breadth of data after the end of the reporting period (as warranted by new information), and identify new areas for DHS and FBI collaboration on the topic. This Assessment is also produced in anticipation of a heightened threat of anarchist extremist violence in 2016 related to the upcoming Democratic and Republican National Conventions—events historically associated with violence from the movement.
(U//FOUO) DHS Bulletin: Self-identified Anarchist Extremists Target Urban Gentrification Sites with Arson
This Note analyzes the recent use of arson by anarchist extremists targeting urban development sites they describe as negatively impacting lower income residents through “gentrification.” This information is provided to enable federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement; first responders; and private sector security officials to identify, preempt, prevent, or respond to intentional acts targeting urban development sites by anarchist extremist campaigns.
There are many different ideologies that an anarchist may follow. Although there may be a number of differences, they all contain the same central belief. Anarchism is the idea that government (the state) is unnecessary and harmful. Anarchy is society without government. Anarchists are people who desire to live in a society without ru-lers as their ancestors once did. The main belief is that the community in which they live be dependant only upon itself. People who believe in government (such as liberals, conservatives, socialists and fascists) are known as “statists”. Anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical control.