Attorney General William Barr is coming under fire for remaining silent on the far-right groups that have been accused of encouraging members to take part in mayhem amid the growing national protests.
The federal government behind statements from President Donald Trump has blamed far-left groups for the growing unrest across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. On Sunday, Trump said that he planned to declare the loose collective of anti-fascists known as Antifa as a terrorist organization, leading to an outcry among those who believe that Trump has not been as hard on some far-right and white supremacist groups that have more generally supported him.
Frank Figliuzzi, the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, said that Barr is wrong to stay silent when there has been evidence that some of these far-right groups are participating in riots and encouraging members to add to the mayhem. Speaking to MSNBC host Brian Williams, Figliuzzi said that online posts show these groups calling members into action.
“We’re seeing evidence in the protests that right-wing dangerous militia groups are there. We’ve seen flags and symbols that come from both Boogaloo Bois and dangerous militia groups,” he said, via Raw Story.
“On the far-left, we’re seeing some evidence developing of global anarchists showing up.”
Figliuzzi added that it was disturbing to see Trump threaten to unleash the U.S. military on those causing unrest and looting in cities.
“Well, let me remind our viewers that we have laws in the United States that prevent the military from turning into law enforcement on the streets of America,” he said.
Some Minnesota officials have also warned that far-right groups appear to be encouraging the destruction and looting that has taken place across Minneapolis in the nights since Floyd’s death. A report from Vice noted that the group also referenced by Figliuzzi, the Boogaloo Bois, have been posting online and even created posters encouraging members to take part.
As the report noted, many of these groups are opposed to the message of addressing racial inequality and structural racism at the center of many of the groups organizing protests.
“Their approach to police brutality links the victims of the deadly standoff with federal agents at Ruby Ridge in 1992, to the victims of modern police brutality, including Floyd,” the Vice report noted.
“But unlike the vast majority of protesters, they refuse to acknowledge the fact that police brutality is an issue that disproportionately impacts people of color.”