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Attorney General Barr blames 'far-left extremist groups' for violent protests

"In many places it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and far-left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics," Barr said.

Attorney General William Barr blamed the violent protests that have swept across major cities in the United States on "anarchic and far-left extremist groups" in a brief public address on Saturday.

Barr began a brief public address Saturday by saying that the criminal justice system at both the state and federal levels will continue to investigate and pursue justice in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on Monday.

He then focused on the protests that in many cities turned violent on Friday night, and in some places also on Thursday night."Unfortunately with the rioting that is occurring in many of our cities around the country the voices of peaceful protest are being hijacked by violent radical elements," Barr said. "Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda."

Full coverage of George Floyd’s death and protests around the country

He blamed the violence on "extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics."

"In many places it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and far left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom travel from outside the state to promote the violence," he said.

He did not offer any evidence to support this statement.

Barr concluded by warning that crossing state lines to participate in riots violates U.S. law.

"It is a federal crime to cross state lines or use interstate facilities to incite or participate in violent rioting," he said.