Recent attacks on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel and buildings are on the rise, spurred on by liberal leaders who sling anti-immigration rhetoric to whip up the mob.
The mob is responding.
On July 13, 2019, a man armed with a rifle and throwing homemade incendiaries attacked the ICE Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington. Police shot and killed the assailant who was identified as Willem Van Spronsen, age 69, an antifa (antifascist) supporter.
Police said surveillance video showed Van Spronsen approaching the center around 4 am, carrying a rifle described as similar to an AR-15 assault rifle. The perpetrator set fire to a building owned by the detention center, placing flares strategically — “including underneath a 500-gallon propane tank.” He set fire to his own car to make it explode and hurled Molotov cocktails at nearby buildings.
Before he went up against the Tacoma ICE facility, Van Spronsen had written and distributed a manifesto which detectives are analyzing.
The ICE attacker admitted to being an anarchist and was a former member of the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club, which calls itself an “anti-fascist, anti-racist, pro-worker organization.”
When four police arrived on the scene, Van Spronsen refused to surrender peacefully. Instead, he pointed a rifle at them. Officers ordered the anarchist to drop his weapon. When he refused, they opened fire. Two shots made their mark and ended the incident by killing the assailant.
A month later, on August 13, two different ICE buildings in San Antonio, Texas, came under targeted attacks. In one case, a bullet missed hitting an employee by a mere two inches.
Gunfire erupted at 3 am in the two offices which were still staffed with federal workers. One was an ICE office building where two floors house administrative and executive offices and the other was a separate facility where an ICE contractor is located.
Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), tweeted that “The shooting at an @ICEgov office this morning is (at least) the 4th anti-ICE incident in about a month” and listed:
Aug. 13 – San Antonio, TX
July 16 – Washington, DC
July 14 – Tacoma, WA
July 12 – Aurora, CO
The gunshots came from a position in a building across the highway and were aimed at the windows, none of which has bulletproof glass. At least one bullet pierced a window.
Authorities say they do not know how many attackers were involved in the incident, their identities or what prompted the assault.
FBI special agent Christopher Combs, who is responsible for agency operations in San Antonio, condemned the shootings as “cowardly, brazen, violent acts” and reminded anyone else contemplating a similar antifa action:
“An attempt to attack federal employees is a federal crime with serious consequences. The FBI will relentlessly pursue every lead in this case to find the individuals who are responsible.”
Combs indicated that whoever fired shots into the San Antonio ICE building “did some research” to prepare for the violent assault:
“I don’t think there is a question that they knew which floor the ICE office is on.”
ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda read a statement prepared by ICE Enforcement Removal Operations San Antonio Field Office Director Daniel Bible which blamed the violence on inflammatory anti-immigration messages coming from certain national leaders and influencers:
“Political rhetoric and misinformation that various politicians, media outlets and activist groups recklessly disseminate to the American people regarding the ICE mission only serve to further encourage these violent acts.”
John Torres, the former acting director of ICE, weighed in with his opinion about antifa attacks on his agency’s staff:
“It’s horrific. It’s disgusting. It’s borderline criminal harassment. Actually, potentially terroristic threats.”
Torres underscored the difference between lawful disagreement and criminal conduct:
“We’re not talking about peaceful protests here. We’re not talking about people who organize, gather, protest in front of an ICE building or protest by marching…They are actually resorting to violence and terroristic threats and they should be arrested for that.”
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan supported Torres’ opinion and warned against incendiary remarks about ICE:
“I think the environment where we’re demonizing law enforcement for doing their jobs, for enforcing the laws on the books, is concerning, it can be dangerous and it can result in people taking actions that are not supported by the facts.”
Of special concern are the four freshman Congresswomen known as the Squad who have whipped up their liberal constituents by calling ICE detention centers “concentration camps” – ignoring the historical fact that, during the Bush and Obama administrations, “record numbers of immigrants were deported and children were kept in cages.”
With the Democrats waging their own War on Trump before the 2020 national election, federal officials predict more domestic violence against ICE agents who are working hard to stem the tide of illegals entering the country.