Thursday, October 8, 2020

Andrew C. McCarthy: Chris Wray Is Right: Antifa Is an Ideological Threat to the United States

Joshua Roberts/Pool/Reuters
His assessment marks a dramatic improvement in the FBI’s position on the very real and present threat of ideologically driven violence.
On Thursday, Jim Geraghty had a characteristically insightful Corner post discussing FBI director Christopher Wray’s recent characterization of Antifa on Capitol Hill. Jim observes that the director’s testimony will be (indeed, is being) distorted in the debate halls, congressional chambers, and media commentary because, well, that’s what we do.
The rap on Wray is that he resists framing Antifa as an “organization,” thinking it more accurate to depict it as a “movement” or an “ideology.” The problem is not just that he is being maligned for what was a more nuanced and accurate description than the commentary indicates. Beyond that, the commentary is missing entirely that his assessment marks a dramatic improvement in the FBI’s position on ideologically driven violence, which has been the most immediate threat faced by the United States for a generation. If the government is applying to international terrorism — i.e., jihadist terrorism — the same thinking that Wray described as the bureau’s approach to Antifa’s domestic terrorism, that is a significant security enhancement.
Wray is not denying that Antifa is infecting and driving violent anti-American anarchists. Those anarchists, he indicated, include collections that range from ad hoc groups of individuals who self-identify as Antifa to more regimented “nodes” that are “coalescing regionally.”
Does that sound familiar? It should. On a global stage, it mirrors in many ways the Muslim Brotherhood. Not a precise reflection, but it is similar (and bear in mind that these movements are in very different stages of their historical development).
I wrote a book about Brotherhood ideology, called The Grand Jihad, in 2010, and another one a couple of years later, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, about the turbulent influence of that ideology during the short-lived uprisings known as “the Arab Spring.” Over the years, I’ve consulted with sundry lawmakers on legislative initiatives to designate the Brotherhood formally as a foreign terrorist organization.
Those efforts were mostly inchoate, and they have petered out in recent years. The failure owes not to the fact that anyone doubts the Brotherhood is real, nor to skepticism that it is a malign force. The problem is nailing down exactly what it is. It manifests itself in many different ways.
Read the rest from Andrew C. McCarthy HERE.

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