Fact check: FBI did not state that being a teacher was the most common occupation among Antifa members | #teacher | #children | #kids

Posts on social media make the claim that being a teacher is the most common occupation among members of the anti-fascist protest movement Antifa, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This claim is false. The FBI did not report this.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Examples of the claim are visible here , here and here .

The claim comes weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize Democratic leaders, alleging without evidence that “Antifa and other far left militant groups can take over a city without barely a wimpier (sic).” ( here ).

The Washington Post recently reported that Attorney General William Barr had formed a task force to investigate “anti-government extremists,” including “those who self identify as Antifa.” ( here ).

Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray also delivered remarks during a virtual press conference in which he updated the public in regard to “coordination efforts related to the civil unrest” following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 ( here ).

During the press conference, Wray referred to Antifa as “anarchists” and stated that outside agitators were “exploiting this situation to pursue violent, extremist agendas.”

The FBI told Reuters in a statement via email: “Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on individuals who commit violence and criminal activity that constitutes a federal crime or poses a threat to national security.

“The FBI has not made any such statements about the occupations of people who are attracted to particular ideologies,” the statement specified.

The posts on social mischaracterize what the FBI has reported about Antifa’s members and activities.

In recent months Trump has called for the U.S. government to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization, a move that legal experts say would be hard to execute.

It is not clear how many, if any, of the protesters participating in demonstrations across the country since May are from Antifa, which experts note is not an organization but rather an amorphous movement ( here ).

VERDICT

False. The FBI did not report on the most common occupation of suspected members of Antifa.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here . 

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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