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Leaked DHS email reveals Antifa violence in Portland is 'organized,' not 'opportunistic'


'A core set of Threat actors are organized, show up night after night'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Investigative reporter Catherine Herridge obtained a leaked email from a former top Homeland Security official on Monday revealing that Antifa violence in Portland is, in fact, organized.

What's the background?

Although the black-clad militant protesters have been mainstays in unrest across the country for years, those who claim to be members of Antifa often refuse to acknowledge centralized organization of their group.

Mark Bray, author of "Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook," recently claimed in an essay for the Washington Post that the government cannot designate Antifa as a "terrorist organization," which President Donald Trump has threatened to do, because Antifa "is not an organization."

Bray also claimed that Antifa is not associated with Black Lives Matter, the Democratic Party, or "liberal financiers like George Soros," and that Antifa is not actually fascist.

What does the email say?

The email — sent by Brian Murphy, former acting under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, who has now become a government whistleblower — stated the violence seen in Portland over the summer has been "organized."

Murphy's message, sent July 25, was to inform staff of a definition change, that future references to the violent activity taking place in Portland would be referred to as being "violent Antifa anarchists inspired."

The individuals are violently attacking the Federal facilities based on these ideologies. We can't say any longer that this violent situation is opportunistic. Additionally, we have overwhelmingly intelligence regarding the ideologies driving individuals towards violence and why the violence has continued. A core set of Threat actors are organized, show up night after night, share common [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures] and drawing on like minded individuals to their cause.

I recognize we may not be able to attribute every individual as VAAI however we need to look at the totality of the intelligence both current and previous and recognize the motivation for the violence and why people have shown up to commit violence for about 60 days. And why the individuals are using social media to encourage the VAAI on the ground to carry out acts of violence.

Murphy concluded the email, "Threat actors who are motivated by Anarchist or ANTIFA (or a combination of both) ideologies to carry out acts of violence against State, Local, and Federal authorities and infrastructure they believe represent authority or represent political and social ideas they reject."

Recognizing centralization within Antifa is significant because it could make future prosecution of the group easier.

Indeed, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said last month the government is "targeting" the leaders of Antifa and other groups perpetuating unrest across the country.

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