One of the individuals arrested and charged with domestic terrorism for his role in helping to launch a coordinated and violent attack against Atlanta law enforcement on Sunday purportedly works for the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
On Monday, the Atlanta Police Department released the names of 23 individuals taken into custody and charged by the agency, one of whom is a man identified as Thomas Jurgens. According to a now-unavailable LinkedIn profile, which has an account photo matching one of the rioter mugshots released by the department, Jurgens is an Atlanta-based staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a radical leftist legal group that regularly smears conservative organizations as “hate groups.” In contrast, despite Antifa committing murders and being regularly responsible for violence across the country, the SPLC has pointedly refused to label it and related left-wing anarchists “hate groups.”
Local reporter Michael Seiden also appeared to indicate Jurgens’ ties to the SPLC, writing in a now-deleted tweet that he had spoken with a “family member who confirmed that his relative, Thomas Jurgens, was arrested and charged w/domestic terrorism … and that Thomas is a staff attorney for @splcenter.”
According to Fox News, Jurgens and his fellow rioters are “accused of leaving a nearby music festival Sunday evening and heading to the construction site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center ‘to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers.'” Dressed in dark clothing, the accused terrorists hurled bricks, Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and large rocks at Atlanta police officers.
While often cast as a “nonpartisan” legal group by legacy media, the SPLC has acted as a mouthpiece for leftist radicalism for years. Back in 2012, a disturbed individual failed to carry out a mass killing at the headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC), a Christian organization that believes in the true meaning of marriage. While speaking with the FBI, the individual confessed that he identified FRC as “anti-gay” and found the group’s address on a “hate [group] map” on SPLC’s website.
Rather than remove FRC’s classification as a hate group from the group’s site, SPLC co-founder Morris Dees defended including FRC on the “hate map,” saying, “Well, first of all, having a group on our hate map doesn’t cause anybody to attack them any more than they attacked us for one thing or another.” Funny how SPLC was willing to deny a connection between violence and rhetoric regarding the FRC incident, yet the group was more than happy to falsely blame former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin’s rhetoric for the shooting of former Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
In addition to its left-wing activism, the SPLC has alarming ties to the FBI, which has faced numerous accusations of partisan corruption in recent years. In 2018, the agency confirmed it had a working relationship with the SPLC. While exact details of the relationship were unclear, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” reported “that the FBI had described the group as ‘a well-known, established and credible’ organization in 2009, and that the agency has briefed the FBI on alleged domestic terror threats in the U.S.”
More recently, it was revealed that the FBI used SPLC as a source to justify the agency’s Richmond, Virginia Division’s decision to investigate so-called “white supremacy” among Catholics who prefer Latin Mass. After the report detailing such actions leaked, the FBI retracted the memo.
Despite the violent nature of the March 5 Atlanta riot, it wasn’t the first instance of leftists perpetuating violence against the so-called “Cop City” site. In January, six individuals were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism after a violent riot, which came in response to the death of 26-year-old environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran. According to authorities, Teran had shot a state trooper in the abdomen, prompting law enforcement to return gunfire.
Following the shootout, SPLC Union decried law enforcement for daring to defend themselves, saying in a statement that Teran’s death was “another extra-judicial killing,” despite Teran reportedly being the first to start shooting. According to the AntifaWatch Twitter account, at least a recent leader of the SPLC Union has radical left-wing politics. AntifaWatch also notes that another SPLC employee, Megan Squire, previously led a march organized by two Antifa terror groups, Redneck Revolt and the John Brown Gun Club. A member of the latter group was killed in Washington state in 2019 after he pointed a gun at police and tried to blow up a detention facility.
Neither the Southern Poverty Law Center nor Jurgens’ office returned The Federalist’s request for comment.