An internal email from the Department of Homeland Security leaked to CBS Catherine Herridge late Monday detailing that the violence in Portland was not "opportunistic," but rather "organized"—confirming long-suspected details about the Antifa movement.
The email explains that Antifa is organized and runs contrary to reports in the mainstream media that Antifa was not responsible for anti-police violence, but an impromptu movement spurred on by anti-fascist sentiments held by most of the American public.
A recent article in the Washington Post by Mark Bray, author of Antifa: Anti-Fascist Handbook, attempted to dispel "myths" about Antifa, claims that the group is not an organization, but rather a "tradition of militant antifascism." The article disputed claims that Antifa "masterminds violence at Black Lives Matter protests."
In printed email documents attained by Herridge, the DHS' Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence & Analysis Brian Murphy wrote to his colleagues on July 25 detailing his findings of Antifa in Portland.
Murphy urged for an immediate change of definitions for the violent activity in Portland following a review of the individuals arrested by federal authorities, as well as intelligence surrounding their affiliations and activities.
"The individuals are violently attacking the Federal facilities based on these ideologies," he said in regards to Antifa, which he classed as VAAI or "VIOLENT ANTIFA ANARCHISTS INSPIRED."
"We can't say any longer that this violent situation is opportunistic," wrote Murphy. "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 TTPs and drawing on like minded individuals to their cause."
TTP stands for Tactics, Techniques and Procedures.
"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."
The nightly riots in Portland numbered at sixty days when the email was composed. Rioting has shifted from Portland to other cities with some of the same actors, including Washington DC, Seattle, and Kenosha—violence of which was spurred largely by pro-Antifa advocates on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitch, and Twitter.
"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," Murphy concluded.
Phrases like "Every city, every town. Burn the precincts to the ground" are a common refrain at Black Lives Matter rallies, and have been chanted during arson attacks on the Portland Police Bureau, the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in Portland, and other facilities where Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants were present.
The intelligence provided by the DHS validates claims by conservative voices who have long identified Antifa as an organized movement, and flies in the face of claims that the group was not intent on committing violence or conducting an insurgency against the United States government.