Due in part to recent events in Europe the Federal Bureau of Investigation is starting to focus more of their energy on educating the public on and putting a stop to “anarchist extremism.”
Earlier this month, authorities in Greece halted all mail and package shipments addressed to foreign destinations after suspected mail bombs were sent to the embassies of Switzerland, Bulgaria, Russia, Chile, Mexico, Belgium, the Netherlands, and others.
It largely went under the radar as other packages from Muslim extremists allegedly targeted Jewish addresses in the US.
But anarchists sent explosive packages to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin and French President Nikolas Sarkozy. Both packages were intercepted before they arrived at their destinations. One parcel, destined for Italian president Berlusconi, exploded while being examined by Italian authorities following a Greek police warning.
The Greek individuals connected to the attacks were connected to the anarchist extremist group called Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, which first surfaced in 2008 with a wave of bombings at luxury car dealerships and banks in Athens and Thessaloniki. They also have expressed solidarity with arrested anarchists in Greece and other European countries.
Most anarchists in the US advocate their belief that society should have no government, laws, police, or any other authority through non-violent, non criminal means. However, the small minority that fall under the anarchist extremist umbrella have a firm belief that change will only come through rampant violence and other criminal acts.
Although most episodes of anarchist extremism occur within local jurisdiction and are characterized by small level larceny and petty crime, the FBI still has a heavy presence at major national or international events that generate significant media coverage, which are events that trigger episodes of violence. Historically, the US has dealt with a few large scale instances of anarchist extremism.
In 1919 the FBI investigated a series of anarchist bombing in several US cities. The most publicized attack was when a militant anarchist named Carlo Valdinoci blew up the front of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s home. The bombing was part of a number of coordinated attacks in eight US cities on judges, politicians, law enforcement, and other significant personalities that represented capitalism (a postal worker intercepted a bomb addressed to John D. Rockefeller.)
More recently, anarchist extremists hit the 1999 World Trade Organization in Seattle, and it has become the standard for how similar anti-government groups view success. There was millions of dollars in property damage and economic loss, in addition to injuries to hundreds of bystanders and law enforcement officers.
Current anarchist extremists adhere to a variety of anti-US ideologies. They are anti-capitalism, anti-globalism, and anti-urbanization. There is also a movement that has been coined “green anarchy” which is an aggregate of environmental extremism and anarchist extremism.
The heightened threat of anarchist extremism has been attributed to the recent recession and the perceived greed of many large US banks and the resulting stimulus plan. The stimulus plan has brought the governmental intervention that anarchists despise to a precipitous peak that has US public uncomfortable and divided. Hence, it is a time when calculated disorder is en vogue.
“There have been a number of anarchist convictions recently at both the state and federal levels,” the FBI said in a statement. “The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to detect and disrupt enterprises and individuals involved in criminal activity or who advocate the use of force or violence to further an anarchist extremist ideology.”