ANTIFA operates “like Al-Qaeda”, wants America “burned to the ground”, and may launch terror-style attacks, a top cop has warned.
Sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith, spokesperson for the National Police Association, claimed that the “dangerous” left-wing group is full of “lone wolves” like the notorious terrorist group.
Sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith, a 29 year police veteran, compared Antifa’s operations to that of Al-Qaeda[/caption]
Speaking exclusively to The US Sun, Sgt Brantner Smith compared the left-wing mob’s operations to that of Al-Qaeda, the terrorist militants behind the September 11 attacks.
Antifa, meaning anti-fascist, is the umbrella term for a broad spectrum of far-left and anarchist groups who fight against actions they believe to be racist, homophobic, authoritarian and xenophobic.
The group has been linked to violent riots and possible terrorist-style attacks – but it has been claimed by Dems and some law enforcement figures that the threat is overblown.
Sgt Brantner Smith claimed the group attempts to recruit people who do not conform to “societal norms” and may exploit “vagrants” to bring them into Antifa.
And she suggested there may be attacks as she said Antifa wants to “burn down” the US and uses “lone wolves” – potential threats who are radicalised and carry out attacks alone.
The 29-year police veteran said: “They really love that whole ‘I’m an Antifa rebel’ and what Antifa does is they take care of those people.
“Those people who have no sense of belonging now have a sense of belonging,
“In a way, it’s similar to what Al-Qaeda did or does. With Al-Qaeda, there was a structure and we knew who the leaders were.
“Then there were the ‘lone wolves’ who were inspired by Al-Qaeda but would do their own thing. “
They really oppose the idea of America
Sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith
Sgt Brantner Smith also blasted President Joe Biden for calling Antifa just an “idea” – saying “it is a dangerous group”.
She is referring to is a quote from Biden during the first presidential debate in which he referenced FBI Director Chris Wray who said: “[Antifa is] not a group or an organization. It’s a movement or an ideology.”
Its members often join protests and work with other organizations that rally against the same issues including the Black Lives Matter movement and the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011.
However, according to retired Sergeant, what Antifa stands for is the opposition to America.
She said: “They really oppose the idea of America – just this great 200 and something year experiment that is America.
“They want it all burned down. They say that very explicitly. They want their own model of government.”
Antifa has been around since the 1980s but has been becoming more prominent in recent years – seemingly fueled by the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016.
Antifa was last year blamed by Republicans for playing a major role in the months of unrest in Portland which saw protests against police brutality.
The unrest was sparked after a video went viral showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, who later died, amid nationwide unrest.
Sgt Brantner Smith also took aim at the Dems over the “obsession” with the Capitol riot on January 6, when Trump supporters stormed the building and left five people dead as they attempted to disrupt the certification of votes for Biden.
However, she said Democrats are trying to weaponize the event to show “all problems came from Trump and his supporters” and gloss over the months of violence which she blames on Antifa.
She told The US Sun: “Over 200 people have been arrested and newspapers like USA today are printing those people’s names, where they are from, what they did, all of that, you’ve never seen that in the last ten months during all the riots.
“No one ever did that. There’s an obsession with the Capitol Riot. It was run riot on one day that lasted about six hours.”
She said Antifa receives funding through crowdsourcing using platforms like PayPal and GoFundMe – claiming it goes through “layers and layers and layers” before the money is then distributed.
According to the Seattle Times, the Antifa was “emerging as a persistent militant voice” in the city last year
The paper reported that the group had anonymous leaders and considers itself anti-fascist and anti-capitalist, with its goal of overthrowing the US political system.
In May, they were involved in riots in Washington DC The Lincoln Memorial and other valued monuments were damaged.
Sgt Brantner Smith also blamed record homicide rates in the US on law enforcement being tasked to deal with every problem the country faces – including Antifa.
2020 saw the highest murder rates ever recorded in the United States with a 50% increase seen in Chicago compared to 2019, a 30% in Los Angeles, and a 40% increase in New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters the massive increase was due “to the fact people are cooped up”.
“You can’t blame the pandemic,” she said.
“You cannot vilify your law enforcement and then send them out to hunt down violent criminals.”
Antifa is an umbrella term for a broad spectrum of far-left and anarchist groups.
The term itself means simply anti-fascist.
The size of Antifa is not known, and it is believed not to have any leaders.
Antifa has been around for decades but was fueled by the election of Donald Trump as president and a spate of police brutality across the US.
It is believed that the group dates back to the 1920s when members fought against European fascists.
The modern American Antifa movement began in the 1980s.
The view is split between Republicans and Democrats on what Antifa is and what it means.
The Democrats, including President Biden, claim it is a loose ideology while Republicans, such as Donald Trump, referred to the organization as a terrorist group.
In January Antifa mobs clashed with cops as rioters vandalized the HQ of the Oregon Democrats.
A chilling message on a protest banner carried by Antifa activists in Portland, Oregon, read “We don’t want Biden, we want revenge”.
Federal police fired tear gas at rioters who threw rocks and eggs at the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement building in Portland, Oregon, according to authorities.
Up to 200 protesters gathered outside the building, as Federal Protective Services officers issued loudspeaker warnings to the demonstrators not to trespass on federal property, KGW-TV reported.
The ICE building has been the site of several violent clashes between demonstrators and federal police over the past year, particularly after the May 25 death of George Floyd.
Meanwhile, outside the Sacramento Capitol, what appeared to be Antifa demonstrators had gathered.
They pounded on drums and chanted “f*** you to the racist system, f*** you”.
The Antifa members, some of them wielding clubs and shields, were seen marching through the streets of California’s state capital days before President Biden’s inauguration, reports said.
At the beginning of January, Donald Trump ordered a fresh crackdown on Antifa – telling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to designate the group as a foreign terrorist organization to stop members from entering the US.
McEnany detailed how members of the organization have “brutally attacked” Americans, their businesses, and the country’s “historic landmarks.”
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“This violence and lawlessness has no place in the United States and will be called out for the domestic terrorism that it is,” she wrote.
She went on to confirm that Trump “signed a memorandum” to “restrict the entry of aliens associated with terrorist organizations and aliens intent on criminal activity.”
“President Trump will not allow Antifa, or any terrorist organization, to destroy our great country,” the statement concluded.
The National Police Association is a profit organization that highlights “abuses anti-police elected officials” which also promotes policies that “encourage public officials to work with police in the public interest.”