After an investgation on Antifa being the “greatest threat” to America was requested, FBI Director Christopher Wray repudiated the claim that Antifa was a threat to the United States and stated that instead, Antifa was “more of an ideology or a movement than an organizarion” before the House of Homeland Security Committee.
During the hearing, Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson questioned Wray, asking him what currently stands as the bigger issue to homeland security, wanting to know if it was left-wing or right-wing radicals that posed the greater threat. In response, Wray said that the “biggest threat” is not attributed to one group or organization, but falls onto single individuals who self-radicalize online and eventually pursue easy targets.
“If you compare the threat I just described to the sort of Al-Qaeda sleeper cells of old, that group, the sleeper cells, you’ve got a group of people colluding, conspiring, fund-raising, planning, preparing, communicating,” he added. “So there’s a lot of dots out there to connect if the intelligence community and law enforcement know where to connect, and it usually occurs over a long period of time.”
Wray was also asked if there should be an investigation looking into the “movement” of Antifa, as a safety measure for homeland security. In response he said:
“Well, we don’t really think of threats in terms of left or right in the FBI ,” Wray responded.
“Our domestic violent extremists include everything from racially motivated violent extremists…all the way to anti-government, anti-authority violent extremists.”
“We have seen folks who subscribe or identify with the Antifa movement, who coalesce regionally into small groups or nodes and they are certainly organized at that level.”
“We look at Antifa as more of an ideology or a movement than an organization,” he added.
“To be clear we do have quite a number of properly predicated domestic terrorism investigations into violent anarchists, extremists, any number of whom self-identify with the Antifa movement, and that’s part of this broader group of domestic violence extremists I’m talking about, but it’s just one part of it.”
“Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a group or an organization. It’s a movement, or an ideology may be one way of thinking of it,” Wray said. “And we have quite a number — and I’ve said this quite consistently since my first time appearing before this committee — we have any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists and some of those individuals self-identify with Antifa.”
In 2020 alone, Wray states that there has been an increase in investigations of domestic violent extremists, including more than 120 arrests and over 1,000 investigations opened.
Wray was repeatedly asked questions on the topic of antifa by both Democrats and Republicans, each approaching their questions differently.
Trump supporter, Rep Debiie Lesko said:
“There have been statements by top people here in fact, [House Judiciary Committee] Chairman [Jerry] Nadler [D-N.Y.] has said on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that basically antifa is a fantasy made up of the radical right or Fox News or something to that effect. Would you agree with that?”
“Is antifa a total fantasy, or is it real?” she added.
You’ll find Wray’s response here: