U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a Sunday statement that the regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces of the FBI have been directed to locate and apprehend Antifa leaders.
His statement was issued after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would be declaring Antifa a domestic terrorist organization for its alleged involvement in the terrorizing of major cities after the death of George Floyd.
“With the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country, the voices of peaceful and legitimate protests have been hijacked by violent radical elements. Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate, violent, and extremist agenda,” said Barr.
“It is time to stop watching the violence and to confront and stop it. The continued violence and destruction of property endangers the lives and livelihoods of others, and interferes with the rights of peaceful protesters, as well as all other citizens,” he continued.
He called on cities “to ensure that adequate law enforcement resources, including the National Guard where necessary, are deployed on the streets to reestablish law and order.”
“We saw this finally happen in Minneapolis last night, and it worked,” said Barr as a presence of more than 4,000 national guardsmen was able to prevent a fifth night of rioting Saturday.
The attorney general concluded his statement by revealing that a network of 56 FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces have been directed to apprehend and charge “the violent radical agitators.”
“Federal law enforcement actions will be directed at apprehending and charging the violent radical agitators who have hijacked peaceful protest and are engaged in violations of federal law. To identify criminal organizers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with our state and local partners, federal law enforcement is using our existing network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces,” Barr said. “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.”
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