The San Diego Union-Tribune was given a copy of a report from Dec. 2018 which outlined a possible plot involving anti-fascists who (allegedly) wanted to buy guns from Mexican cartels. The plan, according to the document, was to use the guns to “stage an armed rebellion at the border.”
The unclassified report was provided to the Union-Tribune on the condition the person providing it would not be named, and with the request that the entire document not be shared online because of the ongoing nature of the investigation.
The document warns of “anti-fascist activists” that “planned to disrupt U.S. law enforcement and military security operations at the US/Mexican border.”
Two additional law enforcement officials confirmed the investigation is ongoing, although no one has been charged. “Unclassified” means information can be released to people without a security clearance, but the document was also labeled “law enforcement sensitive,” which means it was intended to be seen only by those in law enforcement.
While this does sound like something Antifa types might want to do, the people named in the report claim the story is false. In particular, the person who was supposedly a cartel member ready to sell guns says he’s a) not a cartel member and b) does not support the Central American migrants flowing into Mexico. His name is Ivan Riebling and he goes by the nickname “Cobra Commander” and also “the Mexican Rambo.”
Ivan Riebeling and Evan Duke — both individuals named in the FBI — denied the accusations and said the plot didn’t make sense.
“It doesn’t make any sense that someone in the United States would purchase guns in Mexico,” Riebeling told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “And the Hondurans certainly didn’t bring money to buy guns. It doesn’t make any sense; in fact it’s extremely absurd to say the Hondurans wanted to attack the United States at the border.”
The FBI’s report says a group of activists in Tijuana supporting the migrant caravan “were encouraged to bring personally owned weapons to the border and the group also intended to purchase weapons from a Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander, AKA the Mexican Rambo, and smuggle the weapons into the United States.”
Another person named in the report is Evan Duke, an American who set up a volunteer house in Tijuana back in November that was aimed at assisting the migrant caravans:
The FBI’s report says Duke was working with Riebeling and others not just to procure weapons, but to help set up camps to train activists to become “community defense militias, also known as autodensas.”
“Organizers planned for the camps to be used as staging platforms from which five-person units would form to train anarchists in fighting, combat, and conducting reconnaissance, and then launch to disrupt U.S. government operations along the border,” the report states.
In mid-November, Duke and a group of activists began renting a house in Tijuana and hosting about 25 volunteers at a time working to counter what they viewed as the U.S. government’s violation of asylum seekers’ human rights.
The FBI’s report says the rental house in Tijuana was guarded by armed group members.
Duke says that contrary to the claims in the report he was warned to avoid Riebling because of his anti-migrant views. He claims he has never met Riebling, much less planned to buy guns from him. This six-page FBI document is essentially raw intelligence which isn’t necessarily reliable. But according to two law enforcement sources (noted above) the investigation is ongoing. So we’ll have to wait and see what the FBI comes up with.