Elizabeth Neumann, former Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, tells Yahoo News Editor in Chief Daniel Klaidman and Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff that right-wing extremists pose a far greater threat to national security than antifa. According to Neumann, during her time in the Trump administration, she regularly received briefings on right-wing threats but says, “Nobody ever once told me: You know who we gotta watch out for? That antifa.”
DANIEL KLAIDMAN: You are an expert on this subject. It’s what you did when you were at the Department of Homeland Security. What is the biggest domestic terror threat or threat of violence? Is it Antifa and groups like that, or is it right wing extremism?
ELIZABETH NEUMANN: [INAUDIBLE] right wing extremism. And that’s global. That’s– our counterparts overseas started saying the same thing in 2017, 2018. They were coming to us in the counter-terrorism community at the US and saying, hey, you guys are the exporters of this. Can you get your hands around this so it stops being a problem in our countries? You know, it is– three years of intelligence briefings and, you know, seeing a lot of interesting stuff, nobody ever once told me, you know who we got to watch out for? That Antifa. They are gonna cause some big problems.
Now, look, Antifa’s been around for a while. They do cause damage to property. They are a threat that local law enforcement and state law enforcement do have to deal with. I don’t want to suggest that we don’t need to protect property. Of course, we do. Having the right to own property is a extremely American ideal. And it’s wrong that they are doing that.
But when you’re looking at what is a federal government job versus a state job and a local job, Antifa tends to be in that lower grade of threat because they’re primary– historically, the things that they’ve done have been violence against property people. Meanwhile, we have had more people killed by white supremacists in the last four or five years in this country than all of the other threats including radical Islamic jihad ideology combined. So if you’re just looking at how many people have died, and you think that’s the threat that we want to spend our resources on preventing, it is the right wing extremism. It is not Antifa.