Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s radical plan to destroy democracy
U.S. President Joe Biden dismisses Antifa as just "an idea." Independent journalist Andy Ngo proves him wrong. The intrepid investigator infiltrates the black box agitators for his new book, “Unmasked,” and exposes the terrorist anarchy fueling their destruction. Ultimately, the tables turn, Ngo becomes the hunted and has to flee the country to save his life.
Whoever hears “fascism” thinks of the darkest chapters in world history, of Mussolini, Hitler, racism and mass killings. Consequently, if you claim to fight fascism you are sure to win the sympathy of the masses. All the more so if you carry the battle cry in your name, like “Antifa.”
For years, the media and left-wing politicians have romanticized Antifa’s black clad thugs as urban revolutionaries in the spirit of Robin Hood. During the first presidential debate Joe Biden waved off Antifa as merely “an idea, not an organization.”
In reality, the name "Antifaschistische Aktion" is a cynical marketing scam to obscure the ultimate and active goal of destroying America and democracy, itself. Investigative reporter Andy Ngo follows Antifa’s trail of destruction back to their headquarters in his new, eye opening expose, “Unmasked.”
With meticulous, on-the-ground, first hand reporting, he exposes Antifa’s fighting tactics, indoctrination techniques, and terrorist plots. Ngo names names. As he explains, “Antifa are no longer a fringe group of radicals wreaking havoc in a handful of cities in America.” The violent extremists have become distressingly mainstream. Deploying left-wing, populist slogans, the anarchists have achieved “tremendous success through finding fellow travelers in education, journalism, the legal profession, and politics.”
Ngo was brutally beaten during a 2019 Antifa protest in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, suffering a traumatic brain injury. He turns to the Portland police for justice. They soon prove impotent at best, cowardly and complicit at worst. In a grotesque twist, the son of Vietnamese refugees who fled to the freedom and safety of the United States is forced to flee his permissive adopted home. From a safe perch in London (for the moment), he tells Die Weltwoche “There's an escalating threat of violence against me.”
Weltwoche: During the first presidential debate, Joe Biden claimed white supremacists pose a greater danger to the country than the far-left anarchist movement, “Antifa.” Do you agree?
Ngo: That's been the recurring mantra from the current administration as well as the media for a certain number of years in response to Donald Trump winning in 2016. I don't underplay the danger of the far-right in the US, but their influence and reach is exaggerated.
As I write in my book, Antifa carried out a number of killings, as well as attacks, where they got killed in the process before they were able to kill anybody. And if you look at what they say in the literature that they disseminate, it does call for the killings of their political opponents.
Weltwoche: Shortly before leaving office, President Trump officially designated Antifa a “terrorist organization.” Do you think this is accurate?
Ngo: Antifa is a domestic terrorist ideology movement. It is not one organization, but a network of organizations. Many of them don't even have “Antifa” in their name. These ad-hoc Antifa groups have a number of identities. Some of them sound very innocuous, such as “Portland Bail Fund.” All of them have a specific purpose that they provided to keep the riots going. In my new book, “Unmasked,” I publish for the first time some of these internal documents from Rose City Antifa which is an actual Antifa organization. But they're just one of many.
Weltwoche: In your book, you make the point that the United States is being attacked from different directions, and street violence is only one part of Antifa's planned revolution. Is that what Antifa’s goal is? A revolution?
Ngo: Yes, they cultivate an anti-government ideology. It is an anarchist communism ideology. They don't recognize the legitimacy or authority of any government. That's why they attack the concept of the nation-state or borders. It's not by coincidence that much of their riots have been directed at immigration officials' facilities,
Weltwoche: They want to abolish all borders, but when they helped establish an “autonomous” zone in Seattle, last year, the first thing they did was put up walls.
Ngo: Yes. When Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa took over six blocks of downtown territory in Seattle, they created a hard border that was manned by an armed militia. There were checkpoints. People were getting killed. There were shootings left and right every night.
Weltwoche: During last summer's violent riots following George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Democrats held remarkably back with their criticism. Do you have the impression that the Democrats’ reluctance to condemn violence galvanized rioters and Antifa?
Ngo: Absolutely. Of course. In my home city, in Portland, we had more than 120 days of nightly violence. Everything that happened on the sixth of January this year at the Capitol caused the whole world to recoil in horror, as they should have. But the people, particularly Democrats who have been the loudest In condemning what happened in the Capitol, weren't that silent last year when my city was under siege. In the worst of cases, they were actually supportive of it, such as sharing links to some of these crowdfunding campaigns, demonizing federal law enforcement that was trying to protect the federal courthouse that the rioters were trying to burn down, calling the law enforcement Trump's “Gestapo” and “secret police.” The reason the riots were able to go on for so long was because these people on the far extremist Left were given mainstream legitimacy.
Weltwoche: You have infiltrated the ranks of Antifa and investigated their network. Is Antifa loosely structured, locally rooted, or is it more a tight network that cooperates across the country?
Ngo: It's actually any and all that, but not necessarily simultaneously. Regionally, they are very close knit. Many of them would actually travel from city to city to support what they say are their comrades and their affinity groups, essentially other groups in the same network. Rose City Antifa is just one group in what is called “The Torch Network.” The Torch Network is a network of several cells in different cities across the US known to Antifa.
Do they all follow a similar curriculum and plan?
Yes. They essentially have a blueprint that they share with one another.
It includes information and is structured very much in a way like a university curriculum that takes place in a month. They go to lectures. They have guest lectures, and some of these people who are leading the training are people who work in academia.
They incrementally expose these recruits to extremist literature and really radical ideas, extremist ideas, and later on provide them training on how to buy and shoot guns, as well as other insurrectionary behavior. Like the Muslim Brotherhood, a very secret bond that processes new members and involves incremental exposure to extremist writing and texts.
Weltwoche: Would you say there is tremendous pressure on members to follow the textbooks that they give?
Ngo: Absolutely. One of the sources that provided these internal documents that I expose in the book made it through the recruitment process for many, many months. Ultimately, he was voted out of Rose City Antifa because he was seen as not extreme enough.
It's not just about going to the meetings and doing the readings and completing the so-called curriculum. It's about showing that you're truly dedicated, and that means being willing to participate in criminal activities. If a recruit is hesitant to do violence, that shows to the other comrades that he is not really a true believer.
Weltwoche: How instrumental was Antifa during the riots that ransacked cities across the U.S. last summer?
Ngo: Substantial. In Minneapolis, where the riots first broke out and entire neighborhoods were torched, part of it was a spontaneous response by activist networks to bring people out on the streets as soon as possible after the footage of George Floyd's final moments came out.
What Antifa is really good at is embedding themselves with the left-wing protests and very easily exploiting the sentiments at a moment's notice to turn these protests into riots.
What was being overlooked, at the time, in the videos from Minneapolis were these relatively small groups of people dressed in black cloth very systematically breaking the windows one by one in these areas that were close to the large group of protesters. Now, you have dozens or hundreds of people swarming in to loot. And once those looters are done, these people come in and use a Molotov cocktail or other incendiary device to set fire to the building.
In Portland, they were putting out flyers every day, and they were being promoted on Twitter.
Weltwoche: How did Twitter react to Antifa’s incitements of violence?
Ngo: As open invitations to violence, essentially. I think it's very similar to the early days of the Islamic State Group. Much of their recruitment, at least of Westerners, was done through Twitter.
Weltwoche: How far is there cooperation between Black Lives Matter and Antifa?
Ngo: They don't just interact they work with one another to the point where I consider them a fused entity. Some of their chapters, such as the DC chapter of BLM which is one of the largest in the US, has openly called for their supporters to come support their comrades at protests.
In the documents I publish, Antifa sources say that Antifa Black Bloc was frequently, almost always now, actually, volunteer security for the BLM rallies. Nevertheless, BLM is seen as sort of a respectable mainstream movement. Many consider it just a movement for racial justice rather than looking at who founded the group, at the three women who are self-identified revolutionary Marxists and the statements they've made.
Weltwoche: How many of the Antifa members were charged after the riots in summer?
Ngo: In Portland, there were more than a thousand riot-related arrests in all these months. Over 90% of them got their charges immediately dropped by the district attorney. The prosecutor, otherwise known as the district attorney, is a politician in an elected position. In a city like Portland, that is a left-wing monoculture, he or she is incentivized to essentially excuse the actions of the far Left.
Weltwoche: Kamala Harris and more than a dozen members of Biden's campaign team were helping to fund the bail of arrested protesters in Minnesota. Did that help Antifa members get released?
Ngo: Yes. She said that on her Twitter to her millions of followers. The seriousness of her tweeting that, as well as other celebrities pouring in millions of dollars, is that this Minnesota Freedom Fund raised over $35 million. It was used to indiscriminately immediately bail out any and every person who was arrested at the riots in Minnesota, regardless of what they were charged with.
Weltwoche: Kamala Harris helped bail out people who were charged for committing violence?
Ngo: Some of the people they were bailing out with this money, that now Vice President Kamala Harris was calling for her followers to donate, include people who have been charged with attempted murder, attempted rape, and other riot related crimes.
In Portland, a very similar crowdfunding campaign happened, as well, where over $1.3 million was raised. There were about 1000 arrests in Portland. Most of them just got immediately released. Some of them were charged with really serious crimes, such as arson, or assault, or attempted murder, felony assault.
The bail fund would put these people immediately back on the streets, and some of them literally were rioting again within 24 hours. Some have been arrested and re-arrested and released four, five, six, seven, eight, nine times.
Weltwoche: Many assume that, with Donald Trump's exit from the government and the loss of their prime target, Antifa will fade to the background. Is this a correct assumption?
Ngo: No. Antifa fundamentally doesn't recognize any American government. They view the U.S. as a fascist, imperialistic state that needs to be destroyed. They don't recognize any governing party. It doesn't matter what party it is. Even when Biden was inaugurated, they rioted severely in Portland. One of the banners they had said, "We don't want Biden. We want revenge for police murders, imperialist wars, and fascist massacres." There was an image of a Kalashnikov rifle, and then they went on to destroy the headquarters of a Democrat Party office there. The agenda has always been to destabilize government and society where possible and to attack institutions, civil society, and the founding ideals of the country.
Weltwoche: You are now in London. Why did you flee America?
There's an escalating threat of violence against me, and people have shown up to my family's home quite a lot in the past year. They will write around the city, "Kill Andy Ngo." Then, they'll add my address. All of this was reported to the local authorities, and when applicable, reported to the FBI. Nothing was done.
Weltwoche: You are saying that the authorities have failed to protect you?
Ngo: I never heard back after they took a report that I was severely attacked in 2019. After the elections, I didn't feel safe being in the U.S.
Weltwoche: Do you have the impression that the FBI is not taking the threat of Antifa seriously enough?
Ngo: The federal authorities — and this doesn't just include FBI, but also, primarily, the Department of Justice — they sometimes arrest and prosecute individuals who commit federal crimes, particularly when they attack federal property, but they are not doing the work, as I can see, of breaking apart these networks. If you don't break apart the networks, it doesn't stop the movement.
Andy Ngo, “Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy”