The arrest of a 26-year-old Alabama man on charges of detonating an explosive outside the office of the Alabama Attorney General in Montgomery shows that the threat of the anarcho-communist network known as Antifa isn’t limited to any region of the country.

Kyle Benjamin Douglas Calvert, a resident of Irondale, Ala., faces federal charges of malicious use of an explosive and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

According to the federal indictment, the February 24 bombing was accompanied by the placement of numerous stickers with Antifa slogans and related anarchist symbols.

Using social media, law enforcement identified what appeared to be the same stickers in Calvert’s possession. According to law enforcement, Calvert made numerous online statements in support of Antifa. Calvert apparently used the name Kai and the pronouns they/she/he and may have participated in Birmingham’s “Trans-Punk Scene.” Both radical elements of the Transgender movement and the Punk rock music scene have established links to Antifa.

If the Department of Justice succeeds in demonstrating in court that Calvert was responsible for the bombing, the incident will be yet another example of Antifa-linked political violence located not in the Pacific Northwest – the epicenter of Antifa organizing – but rather in the Deep South.

This incident follows one in which Antifa Miami members linked to the pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge – which firebombed pro-life offices and vandalized churches and pregnancy resource centers following the 2022 Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade – were charged with vandalizing pregnancy resource centers in January 2023.

A suspected Antifa member was also arrested in Florida for bringing a pipe bomb to a pro-Trump event on Jan. 6, 2022. And in January 2021, the FBI arrested Antifa supporter Daniel Alan Baker in Tallahassee, Fla., over alleged threats to shoot police officers and Trump supporters outside the state capitol.

In September 2023, the state of Georgia charged over 60 individuals with domestic terrorism, material support for terrorism, and racketeering charges. These charges came as part of what they say is an anarchist conspiracy to engage in terrorism in support of the “Stop Cop City” protests which continued in Atlanta for months, involving vandalism, explosives, and attacks on police officers and construction workers. Among those charged with domestic terrorism was a lawyer for the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center.

Those protests received nationwide coverage, including public statements of support from progressive members of Congress, after Georgia police shot and killed an anarchist protestor armed with a handgun.

And then we have the recent bombing at the Alabama Attorney General’s office. Given the placement of the Antifa stickers at the bombing location, it is reasonable to assume the bombing was deliberately linked to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling on IVF treatments, which made national news only days earlier and followed numerous misleading media claims about Alabama’s pro-life laws in the hype surrounding Dobbs.

States in the South with solid Republican majorities should expect to continue being targets for Antifa and related left-wing extremist activities. This is partially due to a change in tactics, from an emphasis on widespread rioting, to individual or small cell acts of sabotage or violence. This mirrors developments identified by German Intelligence, which in 2021 forecasted “an obvious shift away from the ‘mass militancy’ of demonstrations and towards violent acts by small groups acting covertly.”

But is also a reflection of an increasingly vehement and irresponsible political media which often casts Republican politicians, particularly in the South, in a hysterical light. This kind of hyperbole feeds the motivations of Antifa supporters who seek to identify their political opponents as “fascists” deserving of violence.

Several other southern states, including Florida, Arkansas, and North Carolina, have all passed anti-rioting and RICO legislation aimed at curbing criminal violence and destruction, both hallmarks of Antifa. Legislation by law enforcement veteran State Rep. Allen Treadaway was filed twice in the Alabama House but failed to receive a Senate hearing in either 2021 or 2022. State leaders should not presume that federal laws are the only, or even the best, method for responding to terrorist threats like Antifa.

In the current case, Calvert faces federal charges of malicious use of an explosive and possession of an unregistered destructive device, and if convicted could face a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 with no possibility of parole. It is unclear if the Department of Justice will pursue terrorism sentencing enhancements in the event of a conviction, but historically the DOJ and FBI have been reluctant to identify Antifa as a terrorist group or prosecute Antifa activities as terrorism, and DOJ press releases made no reference to the Antifa connection in the case.

The DOJ has also demonstrated a history of dismissing or reducing charges on left-wing extremist perpetrators. In the case of Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, two New York attorneys convicted of firebombing a police vehicle during the 2020 riots, a prospective sentence of 10 years in federal prison was reduced to no more than 24 months at the request of federal prosecutors.

According to the indictment in the Calvert case, the device allegedly built and deployed was packed with nails and other shrapnel designed to cause injuries. Under Alabama’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002, Calvert could have faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, since possession or distribution of a Destructive Device with the intent to cause harm is a Class A felony in Alabama.

Given that this act of terrorism was directly aimed at Alabama’s government, the state has a vested interest in seeing justice done, sending the message that Alabama isn’t favorable Antifa territory.

Kyle Shideler is the Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at the Center for Security Policy.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to

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