An anarcho-communist powers on their Macbook, a gift from parents for attending such an esteemed college as Temple. But of course, they pay for that too. He logs into an email made for students to contact him about racist events on campus. Seeing a new email with a link, he opens it without thinking – it leads nowhere. Looking like a broken imgur.com link, he sends it to two other people. Without knowing, or suspecting it, he – or maybe she – creates a different kind of link altogether. It’s not a link for a website, it’s a link tying two radical organizations together. The original link ends up on a computer based in Dresden, Germany.
Well, that’s how it seems to have happened. It’s the version I like to think happened. I’d really like to think this was just the beginning to some fictional book about U.S. college students colluding with German-based terror cells. The very same country where Antifa had “hit lists” of reporters to attack during the G20 Summit in 2017. It’s far from fiction, though. It’s true – the anarcho-communism, the communication, and funniest of all: the Apple products.
The short-spun and straightforward web started when I first got a picture. Posted on Temple campus in Philadelphia.
“HAVE YOU SEEN RACIST ‘ACITVITY’ ON CAMPUS?
I never thought that a jpeg could reek of amateur hour, but here it was right in front of me. The bottom had the watermark: “LOVE City Antifa”. Quickly I think “Oh, Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. So maybe the ‘brotherly” part was too patriarchal for their tastes. Founding fathers and all that sexism, right?” This poster is in a city where a white population only exceeds the black population by .6% – of course making racism possible, yet we aren’t looking at Jim Crow South conditions whatsoever.
The very first thing I did was look-up the username of the email. What I stumbled across was a website called blackblogs.org, a German-based domain hosting strictly radical left-wing blogs. It’s reminiscent of an Italian blog of the same nature called noblogs.org (which has no ties to Temple). The content on these blogs range from protest/riot dates, general tactics, and to pages dedicated wholly to doxxing. There’s a whole slew of other content too.
At first it seemed like a new offshoot of college campus Antifa being on a German radical website wasn’t anything too suspicious. And by itself it wasn’t. But that was until I sent an IP logger to the poster’s email. That was when things got especially strange. It took a few days for any results, so I kept on browsing blackblogs.org through a crappy Google translate. After about three days, the results were in! After taking three days to respond an email, I guess looking into “racist ‘acitvity’” comes after college finals, even for a budding anarchist.
From checking the logger link daily, there was finally a change. Three new IP addresses. Maryland, okay. Philly, okay. Germany, o- wait, what is Germany doing on this list? This link went to a single email from Temple’s campus, so what is a German IP doing on here? I went to the throwaway email, and one new message.
“Hey, it looks like the link you sent to us was unavailable. Try connecting the images directly into the emails.”
This answered a question, at least I think it answered some small part of a question. The keyword there was “us”. An IP logs a current location, or the rough location by a few towns at most – not the device’s origin. One link, three IPs. One link, two computers, one phone. It’s certainly a possibility that the link just connected two people – maybe one. But that’s unlikely just due to the distance between all the addresses. Plus, none of the IPs are known proxies. They all check out as legitimate. Why would an individual slow down their internet speed by using a proxy based in another country? All that for checking on an email that their “comrades” already opened unwittingly?
Call it conjecture, but the email gave the impression that when the first person opened the link, they wrote it off as broken and sent it to their collaborators. There was no changing that the link was intentionally broken, and would stay broken. Sending it to even more collaborators would just be passing over more data, unknowingly but willingly.
I called the number on the Temple poster, asking for a comment. Nothing – even after leaving a couple voicemails.
That leaves the main question: why is a German IP logged along with the other two? Either the link got passed along to someone in Germany after the first person opened it, or somebody in Germany also uses that email. The answer could be both too. But it didn’t matter, because regardless, somebody in Dresden is actively associated with Antifa on an American college campus. Although it’s not clear to what extent there is collusion, an association and a communication is clear. It’s also important to note that the group Antifaschistische Aktion – shortened to Antifa – originated in the era of Weimar Republic Germany. This was when they clashed against actual fascists, and rightfully so. Now this whole thing has devolved into a very, very dangerous roleplaying game that must be checked immediately.