The FBI has asked Proud Boys leaders to provide information about Antifa

According to lawyers, FBI agents recruited Proud Boys leaders for information about the Antifa network months before being charged with attacking the US Capitol with other members of the far-right radical group. Provided.

Proud Boys “Sort Leader” and Organizer Joseph Bigs, Florida and others after an agent contacted him in late July 2020 to arrange a meeting with Bigs lawyer J. Daniel. Agreed to provide the FBI with information about anti-fascist activists at the location. Hull filed with the court on Monday.

Hull said the two agents he met with Bigs wanted to know what he was seeing on the ground, and over the next few weeks Bigs would follow up with the agents on a series of phone calls. I answered the question.

“They talked a lot,” added Hull, who has petitioned the judge not to put Bigs in jail until trial.

Lawyers’ allegations are widely supported by Proud Boys left-wing ideological opponents that law enforcement agencies spoiled them, tolerated their violence, and protected them during frequent street fights with anti-fascists. Supports the view being made. Proud Boys has counted several law enforcement officers in its ranks. Connecticut police officer When Deputy Sheriff Louisiana..

According to Hull, Bigs also received “careful” calls from FBI agents and regularly discussed with local and federal law enforcement officials in Portland, Oregon, about planned rallies in 2019 and 2020. ..

“These discussions not only politely inform law enforcement agencies about Proud Boys’ activities in Portland, but also planned marches and demonstrations, which march routes and where to go along the streets of Portland. The goal was also to seek advice on where to go, “Hull wrote.

FBI Director Christopher Ray Says there is no evidence that Antifa is the cause Because of the violence on January 6th. But that doesn’t stop some on the right from claiming.

Antifa was the villainous scapegoat of the Trump administration following much of last year’s social unrest. The death of George Floyd. Trump and then Attorney General William Barr have accused anti-fa activists of protesting the killings of black police across the United States.

Around that time, the FBI and the Department of Justice launched a number of investigations into militant groups. Law enforcement officials are paying the Associated Press whether people are violating federal law by committing violence across state boundaries, or someone sending anti-Faith believers to commit violence. He said he focused on whether or not. Officials were unable to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

FBI agents told police stations in several cities, including New York, that they questioned suspects arrested during protests and focused on suspects who self-identified as followers of the movement.

However, investigators struggled to file proceedings because some did not have a hierarchical structure against anti-fascism. According to officials, this is not a single organization, but a collective term for a group of far-left extremists who confront or resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists in demonstrations.

The FBI did not comment on why the agent met Biggs or why the agency tried to ask for information about Antifa through Proud Boys.

Bigs, 37, in Ormond Beach, Florida, was not the first Proud Boys informant. Group Chairman and Top Leader, Enrique Tario, According to court documents, he previously worked in secret and worked with investigators after being accused of fraud in 2012.

Eric Ward, Secretary-General of the Portland-based Western States Center, which is tracking hatred groups, said that Biggs was working with the FBI, especially when law enforcement agencies “inappropriately close to the far right. “Because we maintain relationships frequently,” he said, “I’m deeply concerned.” Proud Boys actively promoted violence and street brawls at Portland rallies, and Bigs said he “call for street violence.”

“There is no credible reason for law enforcement to work with someone like Biggs. A clear explanation of institutional and professional law enforcement relationships with groups that support political violence at home and abroad was long ago. That’s it, “Ward wrote in an email.

Biggs and three other Proud Boys leaders Indicted on March 10 Allegations that they planned and carried out a coordinated attack on the Capitol on January 6 to prevent Congress from proving the victory of President Joe Biden’s electors. At least 20 other people in the group have been charged in federal court for riot-related crimes, out of the approximately 350 people previously charged with fatal riots.

Members of Proud Boys describe themselves as politically incorrect men’s clubs for “Western xenophobia.” Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media, which founded Proud Boys in 2016, has accused the Southern Poverty Law Center of being classified as a hatred group. In response, the Law Center has Proud Boys members spread “complete prejudice” on the Internet and share their social media photos with prominent Holocaust denials, white supremacists, and “famous neo-Nazis.” Said posted.

A Justice Department prosecutor said he and others tried because Bigs “dangers not only his own potential violence, but arguably the violence of others who support him.” I want to imprison the Bigs while I wait.

However, Bigs lawyers said imprisonment bids depended on speculative evidence at best.

“Importantly, the FBI has been aware of his political commentary and role in planning events and protests in Portland and other cities since at least July 2020, with Antifa in Florida and the United States. “Hull wrote.

The disclosure is reminiscent of previous cooperation between Portland law enforcement agencies and right-wing groups during repeated clashes between left- and right-wing demonstrators. The far-right group of Patriot players held multiple rallies and marches in liberal cities, sometimes drawing hundreds of inhabitants to oppose the message in violent standoffs.

In 2019, Portland launched an internal investigation after more than 11,500 text messages were published between Patriotic Prayer founder Joey Gibson and police Lieutenant Jeffnya. Shintani was cleared in the investigation, but the episode led to training and change in the way liaison officers communicate with the group before and during planned protests.