French police arrest five Antifa militants on assault, drug trafficking charges: report

On Thursday, French prosecutors charged five Antifa militants on assault and drug trafficking charges over a series of violent attacks dating back to early 2023 during the National rallies. 

They are accused of violently assaulting a lawyer and a dozen right-wing activists belonging to the Identarian movement. 

Toulouse prosecutors said the group filmed their violent actions then uploaded their attacks to Instagram and TikTok. 

The suspects arrested included four males and one female. They are between the ages of 19 and 40. Some of them have lengthy criminal histories, according to La Dépêche du Midi

Police conducted an operation on Tuesday to apprehend the five militants, which they said belong to an Antifascist group called the Revolutionary Antifascist Offensive (ORA). 

During the police raid, authorities recovered an encrypted phone, "a significant quantity of narcotics,” and 12,000 euros in cash which authorities said was "obviously from drug trafficking.” 

One of the victims, lawyer Pierre-Marie Bonneau, alleged in a complaint that he was violently attacked by the group when he was drinking with his friend on a terrace in Toulouse near the National rally. 

“A young man came to ask me if I was a lawyer. A few minutes later, a dozen people had gathered. They put on balaclavas, and I was attacked," said Bonneau. 

 "I was given water and then they tried to punch me. Some insulted me. They called me the fascist, the Nazi….” he claimed. 

Another victim who is part of the Nationalist movement was attacked by the group a few months later after he had been recognized by Antifa members on the Place du Parlement in Toulouse. 

An additional victim was beaten to the ground by the group with brass knuckles on that same day, according to the complaint. 

Samuel Vuelta, the public prosecutor, said: "Around ten attacks of this type have been perpetrated since March 2023, in Toulouse and Ramonville.” 

“A preliminary investigation was opened into these facts, which were described as criminal association with a view to committing violence against people and dissemination of the recording of images of violence against people and entrusted to the interdepartmental judicial police service of Toulouse.” 

Vuelta explained that some of the suspects had a long criminal history including prior convictions for “carrying a weapon, participating in a gathering with a weapon, participating in a group formed to commit violence, possession of incendiary products, damage to public property, insults, drug trafficking, theft, sexual assault.” 

Image: Title: antifa