Legitimate protests over long-standing racial grievances have been marred by lawless rioting that has have rocked dozens of cities across America over the past week and a half — and the capital of Virginia has been no exception.
An exclusive report from the Daily Caller News Foundation revealed that the FBI has obtained evidence indicating that Antifa had specifically targeted a federal courthouse in Richmond for “potential arson.”
Arson at the hands of Antifa?
That shocking news came by way of an FBI Situational Information Report released on Tuesday that was obtained by the Daily Caller, which detailed how the federal courthouse had been deemed by Antifa as a “target for potential vandalism/arson” in the midst of continued unrest nationwide over the recent death of 46-year-old George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.
“FBI Norfolk received information indicating the Richmond Federal Courthouse exterior walls were spray-painted with a thick black line around the entire exterior,” the report noted, according to the Daily Caller.
The report further pointed out that a thick black line painted around a structure “has been used by anarchist/ANTIFA as a marker to designate a target for potential vandalism/arson.”
According to the report, this evidence of the potential targeting of the federal courthouse was brought to the attention of the FBI by another unspecified law enforcement agency, which claimed that certain unidentified individuals who were “believed to be members, or associates, of a local anarchist/ANTIFA group” had been “overheard discussing burning down the Richmond courthouse.”
Pulling the strings
The Daily Caller reported that the Richmond Police Department recently arrested seven individuals — only two of whom were actually residents of Richmond — who were found to be in possession of “accelerants and bottles” useful for starting fires as well as handguns, body armor, and gas masks.
However, it remains unclear at this point if those arrestees were connected to the alleged Antifa plot to burn down the federal courthouse, or if they were just ordinary rioters and looters out to cause destruction and mayhem against other targets.
Regardless, it has now become patently clear to both federal and local law enforcement that Antifa and other extremist groups are in and around Richmond are causing trouble, as was noted on Sunday during a press conference by Richmond Police Chief Will Smith, according to local CBS affiliate WTVR.
“We have people from across the country who have traveled many states to be here. We know that this is an organized effort,” Smith said. “We’re committed to try and identify those that are behind it. And we’re doing our very level best to arrest those that are perpetrating the violence on our community, our city, and against our citizens.
“We do have anti-fascists, we have some anarchists, to a large degree, but there’s people from outside of this state and outside of this area that we know that are involved and we’re doing our best to identify them and backtracking what their affiliations are,” the chief added when asked later to elaborate.
He went on: “So, you know, I think there is a much more organized effort, and we’re doing our very best to determine where that’s coming from and who’s pulling the strings.”