Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is asking the FBI to add a new subsection to its list of extremist ideologies that would include Antifa, according to a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray provided exclusively to Hill.TV.
“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 letter states.
The list right now doesn’t include a category “under which Antifa could reasonably be counted,” Banks wrote.
He then write it was his 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.”
Banks suggested the addition cover “Anti-1st Amendment Extremists,” something he said would cover Antifa.
“Antifa has redefined fascism to include anyone who disagrees with their opaque political agenda. What that agenda is exactly is imprecise by design—their central aim is to silence any and all moderate and conservative politics or ideologies,” he wrote.
The Indiana Congressman’s letter comes just weeks after Antifa members attacked journalist Andy Ngo during a protest in Portland, Oregon and an inspired attack on an ICE facility in mid-July.
The group gained prominence after the election of President Donald Trump in 2017 and describes itself as an anti-facist organization. The group has organized violent counter-protests to far-right demonstrations with its members clad in all black.
Banks told Hill.TV in an exclusive statement that “The point of my letter is simple. Antifa employs violence to coerce Americans into silence. 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. To my great surprise, we are witnessing similar style tactics right here in our country. The FBI must take this threat seriously.”
Trump tweeted in a similar vein recently that he was considering designating Antifa a terrorist organization saying “consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others) Would make it easier for police to do their job!”
In a statement to Hill.TV, Ngo said “an extremist ideology that seeks to destroy liberal democracy and silence dissenters through fear and intimidation” exists behind Antifa.
“They believe violence against citizens, property and the state is a means to achieve their goal of revolution,” Ngo said in the statement.
*story by The Hill