Arsonist Sets Fire to Portland Police Cars in Brazen Attack on Training Facility

Arsonist Sets Fire to Portland Police Cars in Brazen Attack on Training Facility

An arsonist targeted the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) training facility in a brazen attack, setting fire to 17 police cars in the early morning of May 2. The assailant gained entry by cutting through the fence of the gated back lot, causing extensive damage to the vehicles. The incident marks a significant escalation in tactics, as it occurred on police property. A group calling itself “Rachel Corrie’s Ghost Brigade” claimed responsibility for the arson attack on a Portland anarchist web forum. The group’s statement linked the attack to support for a pro-Palestinian occupation at the Portland State University library and called for violent resistance against the police.

The PPB spokesperson confirmed awareness of the claim of responsibility and stated that it is part of the ongoing investigation. The FBI office in Portland also acknowledged being aware of the incident but did not confirm or deny their involvement in the investigation. If the claim of responsibility is verified, it could signal the emergence of a new wave of left-wing extremism known as “Anarchist Violent Extremism,” which poses a similar threat to far-right militia movements and anti-government groups.

Portland has been a hotbed of protests and clashes between the police and far-left activists, particularly in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. The PPB has been under Department of Justice supervision for over a decade due to a pattern of excessive force. The 2020 protests against police brutality witnessed confrontations that highlighted the police’s propensity for violence. Tear gas use by the police led to international war crimes investigators issuing a damning report, and leaked police training materials revealed a celebration of violence against protesters.

While property destruction was common during the protests, the burning of police cars on this scale represents a significant escalation. The claim of responsibility was posted on an anarchist website called Rose City Counter-Info, which has been cited as a credible resource in academic papers on Portland anarchists. However, the site has also faced skepticism, with some questioning its authenticity.

The statement from “Rachel Corrie’s Ghost Brigade” celebrated the arson attack and called for violent resistance against various targets. It also urged student occupiers to defend their encampments and avenge Palestinians and brutalized students. The attack on the police training center and its connection to the campus protests could potentially lead to charges of terrorism and conspiracy for those responsible.

The Portland State University library occupation, which the arsonists claimed to be targeting, was cleared by the police on May 2. The police arrested 30 individuals, including several PSU students, and are searching for more than a dozen others who fled the building. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler criticized the protesters, stating that their actions would not influence the situation in the Middle East.

The arson attack and the claim of responsibility have garnered attention not only in Oregon but also in Israel, where it has been covered by prominent news outlets. The mention of Rachel Corrie’s name has sparked controversy, with some far-left groups embracing it while her parents express disapproval.

Author: CrimeDoor

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