An alleged and bizarre plot has been uncovered, involving a Mexican cartel, “anti-fascist” activists in the United States, “migrant” caravans, and an alleged cartel associate named “Cobra Commander.”
As strange as it sounds, though, the story appears to be rather serious. It involves a plot to start an armed conflict at the U.S.–Mexico border.
The case was uncovered in a federal investigation last year into groups and individuals behind the migrant caravans. Details were included in a Dec. 18, 2018, document from the FBI, which the San Diego Union-Tribune said it obtained.
The document states that part of the federal investigation “focused on an alleged plot by a drug cartel to sell guns to protesters,” and said “activists” had planned to buy guns from a “Mexico-based cartel associate known as ‘Cobra Commander,’ or Ivan Riebeling.”
After getting these guns, the newspaper says, “The protesters wanted to ‘stage an armed rebellion at the border.'”
The document isn’t public, so the information can’t be independently verified. A phone call to the FBI press office by The Epoch Times seeking information went unanswered.
The Union-Tribune says the FBI report is unclassified and was provided on the condition that names of individuals in the report weren’t made public. The paper didn’t publish the report online because the investigation is ongoing.
It says the group behind the planned uprising was “anti-fascist activists,” an apparent reference to the anarchist-communist group Antifa—given a key individual it mentions. Antifa’s activities are said to have been classified as domestic terrorism, and the group was being investigated by the FBI in 2017. The group, which has various branches, carries out violent attacks for political intimidation.
Antifa’s Terrorist Connections
This plot fits the kinds of operations carried out by Antifa.
“Antifa operates across the U.S. in ways that involve at least potentially criminal interstate activities, such as inciting a riot and conspiracy to incite riot, as well as behavior,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray, during a Nov. 30, 2017, House Homeland Security Committee hearing.
Wray said, “We are investigating a number of what we would call anarchist-extremist investigations, where we would have properly predicated subjects of people who are motivated to commit violent criminal activity on kind of an Antifa ideology.”
He noted that the FBI regards Antifa as an ideology, rather than a single movement. The bureau has “a number of active investigations in that space all around the country,” he said, adding that the funding sources behind Antifa are “something we’re keenly interested in.”
Antifa’s activities were called “domestic terrorist violence” by the FBI during the Obama administration. Information on the classification was from an FBI and Homeland Security Department joint intelligence assessment obtained by Politico.
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness website also lists Antifa under its “Domestic Terrorism” section as a group of “anarchist extremists.” It appears the page has been removed, but the web archives are still available.
Antifa also was allegedly colluding with the terrorist groups al-Qaeda and ISIS, according to FBI documents published in “All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump” by Ed Klein, the former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine.
“In the FBI report that I have reproduced in full in my book, it says that these violent left-wing groups traveled to Europe, met with representatives of al-Qaida and the Islamic State, or ISIS. They also went to Syria and got bomb-making instructions and toxic chemical instructions,” Klein said in a Nov. 19 interview with investigative website USA Watchdog.
Despite these connections, Antifa has been praised by many legacy news outlets and was recently referred to by Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden as “courageous.”
Armed Plot at Border
In the alleged armed plot at the U.S.–Mexico border, the Union-Tribune cites the document as saying the “anti-fascist” activists had “planned to disrupt U.S. law enforcement and military security operations at the US/Mexican border.”
Despite the alleged condition for obtaining the report of not identifying individuals mentioned in it, the Union-Tribune named two of them and alerted them by requesting comment. They were Evan Duke, an Antifa activist, and Riebeling, also known as “Cobra Commander.” Both of them denied the accusations.
Reibeling told the Union-Tribune, “It doesn’t make any sense that someone from the United States would purchase guns in Mexico.”
The logic that people wouldn’t buy firearms in Mexico is unclear, yet is likely based on false rumors that guns used by the Mexican cartel come primarily from the United States—a rumor that legacy news outlets have promoted. The majority of black market firearms in Mexico originate in China.
Reibeling is the international coordinator of Human Rights Visitors of the New World Order (“Visitadores de Derechos Humanos del Nuevo Orden Mundial”). He was exposed in 2018 for making threats against a journalist, Odilón García, for exposing his criminal history.
According to MundoHispanico, Reibeling had “called to create an army against migrants in Mexico,” in a video he published on social media. It says, “He urged Mexicans to create an ‘international self-defense group’ to combat the caravans of migrants who passed through the Aztec country to reach the United States.”
“In the recording, he even asked the members of Mexican cartels to attack the migrants. However, a review of the Quadratín portal that still remains on the internet mentions the Riebeling file,” according to the MundoHispanico report, translated from Spanish.
According to the Union-Tribune, a few names in the FBI report overlap with a database of people monitored by the Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations.
Duke, meanwhile, has been described as an “anti-fascist organizer.” According to reports, the 48-year-old from Seattle has been active in Mexico and involved with the migrant caravans. According to KPBS, Duke was an organizer behind the Caravan Support Network.
The network allegedly took part in the New Year’s Day rush of illegal aliens against the U.S. border, which led to viral images of people being teargassed.
At the time, a woman from Honduras told The Epoch Times in Mexico that she was pressured by open-borders groups to rush the border with her son. Protest organizers called on the thousands of migrants to march on the border, and the woman, Maria Luisa Cáceres, said that while she did not want to, “as we are with the caravan, we are forced to.”