DHS Bulletin: Self-identified Anarchist Extremists Target Urban Gentrification Sites with Arson

(U//FOUO) This Note analyzes the recent use of arson by anarchist extremists targeting urban development sites they describe as negatively impacting lower income residents through “gentrification.” This information is provided to enable federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement; first responders; and private sector security officials to identify, preempt, prevent, or respond to intentional acts targeting urban development sites by anarchist extremist campaigns.

(U//FOUO) We assess the use of arson by anarchist extremists to specifically attack urban development sites they perceive as “gentrification” is an escalation of tactics against this target set and a departure from more traditional targets of violence—symbols of globalization, political and economic summits, corporations, military recruiting offices, and law enforcement. I&A judges that anarchist extremists are likely to replicate this tactic due to their history of sharing tactics, repeating targets, and the relative success of prior attacks. We have moderate confidence in this judgment because the incident information and historical patterns of criminal activity are credibly sourced and plausible even though the number of new cases is limited.

» (U//FOUO) Although environmental rights extremists—with whom anarchist extremists often are associated and express solidarity—historically employed arson at development sites in suburban or rural environments, anarchist extremists in North America rarely have targeted urban development they perceive as “gentrification” with arson. The reasons for this apparent escalation to violence against this target set remain unknown.


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