“Black bloc” activists frequently take “advantage of the legitimate protesters to destroy things and emphasize their anarchist roots,” according to David Gomez, a former senior FBI counterterrorism official in Seattle, a city that has had high-profile encounters with such groups.
People in such groups will wear masks to cover their faces and dress in black so they can identify each other, Gomez said during an interview late last year. They will often attack the windows of cars, “preferably expensive ones,” and try to provoke police into responding, he said.
“They’re basically anti-capitalists,” Gomez said. “They like to destroy or damage businesses that reflect their view of the world order.”