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Emails Show Homeland Security Believed Far-Right Hoax Videos About an Antifa Civil War

Emails Show Homeland Security Believed Far-Right Hoax Videos About an Antifa Civil War

Newly released emails indicate that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bought into online rumors of an anti-fascist plot to overthrow the government. The plot, part of a meme war between groups on the left and the right, was outlined in a YouTube video. The video claimed the left intended to spark protests and riots across the country on November 4, 2017, with the hope of triggering a civil war.

The Daily Beast reported that the actual protest planned for November 4 was organized by a small group with no intention of igniting a revolution.

Despite this, an agent working for the Department of Homeland Security emailed national intelligence centers asking for more information surrounding the plot. A Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Property of the People, a non-profit organization dedicated to governmental transparency, made the emails available to the public.

One email, sent on October 25, describes “a large number of YouTube videos related to an unconfirmed nationwide plan by ANTIFA to cause disruptions on November 4, 2017”.

The Daily Beast stated that it was is still not clear which video prompted concern from DHS. There are several circulating online, with one in particular from the Catholic Online channel gaining significant traction.

In the video, the organization asserts, “something is about to happen on November 4, and it could be dangerous for millions of Americans”, adding, “communist revolutionaries plan to spark protests and riots with the hopes of starting a revolution”.

The full video is available below.

Infowars host Alex Jones also fueled speculation. On September 29, Mic reported that Jones told viewers, “we have a flood of antifa saying that they’re preparing with weapons, knives and guns to kill conservative, patriots and white people en masse”.

Even a surface-level investigation would reveal these assertions to be untrue. The statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party USA calling for the November 4 protest makes no reference to violence or a civil war. Multiple media outlets had also reported the civil war claims as a hoax.

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While the hoax is laughable, it raises concerns over the ability of right-wing organizations to feed misinformation to government officials.

Ryan Shapiro, the executive director of Property of the People told the Daily Beast, “U.S. agencies have long relied on industry and far-right sources for dubious ‘intelligence’ used to target social activists as security threats”.

He added, “with the new documents we see U.S. intelligence agencies treating the hysterical ravings of random right-ring Redditors and YouTube videos as a legitimate basis for targeting anti-fascists”.


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