Three Maine Men Face Terrorism Charges: 2 jihadists,1 Antifa.
Posted by Ed Folsom, January 8, 2022. Updated March 30, 2023.
Three Maine men are currently facing terrorism charges in unrelated matters. Xavier Pelkey, age 19, of Waterville, and Trevor Bickford, age 19, of Wells, picked up their charges advancing jihad. Francis “Frankie” Carroll, age 22, of Kennebunkport, is the Antifa guy.
Pelkey’s case started with his arrest, in February of 2022, at age 18. Before his arrest, Pelkey had communicated online under the name “Abdullah,” with a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old outside Maine. The three plotted to attack a particular Chicago area mosque, and possibly other mosques and synagogues in the area. Investigators searched the 15-year-old’s home and discovered home-made ISIS flags among other items of interest. When investigators later searched Pelkey’s home, they discovered fireworks bundled together with staples, thumb tacks and other bits of metal that would act as shrapnel when the bundles exploded. Pelkey was initially charged for possessing the explosive devices, photos of which appear in the news story linked here.
The devices might not look like much, but recall that the Brothers Tsarnaev fashioned the bomb they used at the 2013 Boston Marathon from fireworks. Baby brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, then age 19, had been stocking up on fireworks at his U Mass Dartmouth dorm room. There’s a good chance that Dzhokhar’s stash might have looked pretty benign too, if it had been discovered before the Marathon mayhem.
In November of 2022, Pelkey’s charges were upgraded to add a count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. If you wonder how it makes sense for ISIS admirer Xavier “Abdullah” Pelkey to want to attack a mosque as an act of jihadi terrorism, consider that ISIS is a Sunni Muslim organization. Pelkey was allegedly planning to attack a Shiite mosque — a house of infidels and apostates. To the jihadist mind, that evidently made it a ripe target for attack.
Maine’s more famous jihadi terrorist is 19-year-old Trevor Bickford, of Wells. Bickford was recently indicted in New York on 18 counts, including 3 counts each of attempted murder and attempted murder in support of terrorism (news account here). Bickford took Amtrak to New York City for New Year’s Eve festivities, where he planned carry out jihad by killing some police officers. About 8 blocks from Times Square, he pulled out a large knife called a kukri, shouted “Allahu akbar!”, ran up to a New York City cop and chopped him on the head. Bickford was subdued after he dropped the kukri and grabbed for a second officer’s gun, hoping, as he later explained, to use it to shoot police. Bickford also explained that all government officials in the U.S., including police, are legitimate targets for murder in furtherance of jihad, due to U.S. government support for Israel.
Francis “Frankie” Carroll
The third Mainer currently facing a terrorism charge is Francis “Frankie” Carroll, of Kennebunkport. According to a December 19, 2022, story in the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Carroll was arrested in Atlanta along with other Antifa adherents. He was charged with criminal trespass, domestic terrorism, aggravated assault, felony obstruction, interference with government property, and possession of tools for the commission of the crime, after allegedly attacking police who entered an autonomous zone that Carroll and other Antifa adherents, communists, anarchist, anarcho communists and assorted other leftists have been occupying for some time now. Rolling Stone did a fairly sympathetic piece on the occupation last September. You can read it here.
As an aside, Antifa has received some very sympathetic press since its public profile was elevated during the George Floyd riots of 2020. At one point during the 2020 presidential debates, now-President Biden soft-pedalled Antifa as just “an idea.” This was a mis-characterization of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s Congressional testimony that Antifa should be conceived of as an ideology or a movement (neither of which is even remotely described accurately by the word “idea”). I personally recall people expressing sympathy for Antifa in 2020, reasoning that they, themselves, are anti-fascist, and who isn’t against fascism, so what could possibly be wrong with Antifa?
This entirely misses the mark. Here is a link to a Wikipedia entry on German Antifa, explaining that the word “fascist” is and always has been a useful epithet to those who travel under the banner of “Antifa” or “Antifascist Action.” But when Antifa-types call someone a “fascist,” it only means the person is outside their ideological bubble, not as far left as they are.
The first Antifa was Antifaschistische Aktion, a front group of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), in pre-World War II Weimar Germany, 1931-1932. The KPD were wholly supported by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The KPD and Antifaschistische Aktion carried the Stalinist line, which was that any political party other than the KPD was “fascist.” Their arch nemesis at the time was the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Stalin promoted the line that all that was not Soviet Communist was capitalist and all that is capitalist is “fascist.” The essence of this Stalinist line is toed by Antifa-ists to this day – “fascist” means simply not one of them; capitalist.
The Communist use of the word “fascist” as an epithet directed at anything deviating from the Party line was also manifest in the naming of the Berlin Wall as the Antifaschistischer Schutzwall (antifascist dike). Everything to the west of the Antifaschistischer Schutzwall was in this way “fascist,” because everything to the west of the wall was outside the sway of Soviet Communism.
The use of the epithet “fascist” by Antifa and affiliated leftists garners sympathy for them as “anti-fascist” champions of “anti-fascism,” largely because the left has been so successful at: (1) cementing in the contemporary American mind a nearly exclusive association of the word “fascist” with the German National Socialist Workers Party (Nazis); (2) essentially erasing from the contemporary American mind any real grasp of the murderous history of statist, leftist totalitarianism (millions upon millions killed) under Soviet Communism, Chinese Communism, North Korean Communism, the Khmer Rouge etc., as well as under sub-totalitarian/authoritarian regimes such as Communist Cuba; thereby (3) creating the impression that the left is at worst relatively benign, while the sole danger from invidiousness and great murderous evil comes from the right, who are fascists (white supremacists) and the equivalent of Nazis.
But leftists are nasty. Their ideologues and followers have committed the greater bulk of totalitarian slaughter — pulling away — and when Antifa call people “fascist” it really only means that the targets of their epithets are not leftist enough for them.
Ordinary people tend to tread lightly around leftists, trying not to disturb their tender sensibilities so as not to be accused of fascism and be painted as Nazis in the public mind. That’s because leftists are also diabolical little bully buggers; master manipulators of language, first and always practicing to deceive.
Anyway, that’s the rundown on the three Mainers who are currently facing terrorism charges. There’s not a white supremacist or a fascist or a Nazi in the bunch.
Current Antifa symbol versus German Communist Party (KPD) Antifaschistische Aktion symbol, circa 1931.
Update March 30, 2023.
According to a story in today’s Portland Press Herald, Xavier Pelkey is set to plead guilty, on April 7, to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The story reports that Pelkey and his co-conspirators were “supporters of the foreign terrorist group Islamic State.” They planned to enter a certain Shia mosque, separate the adult men from the women and children and then kill all the adult men, before moving on to other Shia mosques and/or synagogues in the Chicago area until the police killed them.
Since we have the Antifa flag depicted above, here’s a picture of the ISIS flag under which Pelkey intended to wage Jihad: