National security analysts, scholars, and a federal indictment reveal that threats from left-wing extremist groups in the United States are more dangerous than right-wing and “MAGA Republican” groups recently cited by the Biden administration as “threats to democracy.”
According to the U.S. government, some of the left-wing groups are being funded by Russian influence operations to “sow discord, spread pro-Russian propaganda, and interfere in elections within the United States.”
On July 29, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the indictment of a Russian national for working on behalf of the Russian government to sow discord in the United States.
“From at least December 2014 until March 2022, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, a resident of Moscow, together with at least three Russian officials, engaged in a years-long foreign malign influence campaign targeting the United States” the indictment alleged.
A DOJ press release stated, “Ionov—working under the supervision of the FSB [Russia’s Federal Security Services] and with the Russian government’s support—recruited political groups within the United States, including U.S. Political Group 1 in Florida, U.S. Political Group 2 in Georgia, and U.S. Political Group 3 in California, and exercised direction or control over them on behalf of the FSB.”
Russia Supports Left-wing Groups
Ionov’s activities were not in support of right-wing groups, the operation was allegedly funding left-wing groups that promoted socialism, defunding police, and California secession, according to multiple reports.
In August, the Tampa Bay Times reported that “Political Group 1” named in the indictment is the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) of St Petersburg, Florida. On the group’s website, its chairman, Omali Yeshitela, is quoted as saying “we need a revolution” and promotes calls for reparations for slavery. On July 29, the same day the indictment for Ionov was unsealed, it was raided by the FBI, according to the APSP. When contacted for comment, a spokesman for the APSP said it was unlikely that the group would be able to answer questions from The Epoch Times based on advice from counsel.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution identified “Political Group 2” in a July 29 article as the Atlanta-based Black Hammer Party. On May 31, 2020, the group’s website featured a statement by Ionov responding to the death of George Floyd that stated:
“Justice for George Floyd and all Colonized people (aka “people of color”), who have died at the hands of White Power Colonial terrorism (aka america’s racist police system).”