Terrorism officials in New York suspect that violence at city protests over the weekend was partly the doing of anarchist groups who attended demonstrations just to stoke tension and incite violence.
NYC Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller told NBC New York that he is confident that the groups had scouts, medics and supply routes to facilitate the dispersion of rocks, bottles and accelerants for vandals.
Miller says there are many indications these groups planned for violence in advance, using encrypted communications and other means.
"Before the protests began, organizers of certain anarchist groups set out to raise bail money and people who would be responsible to be raising bail money, they set out to recruit medics and medical teams with gear to deploy in anticipation of violent interactions with police," Miller said.
He added the groups directed protesters to focus damage on wealthier areas or high-end store fronts.
The NYPD arrested 686 demonstrators since May 28. At least one out of seven of those protesters came into the city from out of state. Officers arrested people from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa, Nevada, Virginia, Maryland, Texas and St. Paul, Minnesota.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Saturday estimated that at least 20 percent of protesters were from out of town.
Miller would not name the organizations suspected, but he said the city will release more information in the days ahead.
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