In late June 2023, two Pittsburgh residents were indicted federally for their alleged actions at an April 2023 demonstration. The demonstration was at University of Pittsburgh campus in opposition to a speaking event featuring Michael Knowles from the Daily Wire. The opposition was very focused around transgenderism, as Knowles had made headlines in March for a call to remove transgenderism from public life at CPAC.
“If it is false then for the good of society and especially for the good of the poor people who have fallen prey to this confusion, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely, the whole preposterous ideology.” - Michael Knowles
The indictment alleged that married couple Brian Dipippa (40) and Krystal Dipippa (41) engaged in a conspiracy to attack the event. Both are charged with 3 felonies; conspiracy, civil disorder, and use of an explosive to commit a federal felony.
The federal investigation was kicked off by an anonymous tip to UPitt police that a militant group of anarchists would be attempting to attack and stop the event. According to the tip the group met at the Big Idea Bookstore, an anarchist bookstore in Pittsburgh that displays a large amount of anarcho-communist & antifa symbols, flags, and fliers.
A speaker known as 'Des' within the cell group stated that the event would not happen and then shared information on incendiary devices (Molotov Cocktails). This information led to the FBI monitoring the bookstore, where Brian Dipippa was seen coming and going on a black and red Kawasaki motorcycle.
On the day of the event, a couple was seen agitating and attacking police. The couple hid behind a "Jews Say Never Again" banner to throw multiple smoke bombs. As the demonstration progressed it moved to the back of the building, where the male ducked behind the female and lit a large explosive and threw it into a group of police officers where it exploded. As a result of the explosion, multiple police officers sustained injuries including burns, bruises, hearing loss, and possible concussions
Following the event police tracked the couple as they left the event using video recordings. This video captured the couple getting on a red and black motorcycle. Additional video from a Pittsburgh Bus captured the license plate (3XN91), which was registered to Brian Dipippa.
Further in the investigation, the FBI found that on flights roughly 2 weeks after the attack, Brian Dipippa set off an Explosive Trace Detection multiple times at TSA airport checkpoints. The results of this trace detection found RDX, a high explosive. When the FBI went through Dipippa's trash, they found fliers associated with Atlanta based terrorist group 'Stop Cop City' and a typed letter addressed to “Des”. This information led to the FBI getting a warrant to search the Dipippa residence. The raid took place on May 19th 2021. During the raid the FBI found 4 laptops, 4 cell phones, 10 thumbdrives, multiple fireworks, and a variety of other items. Critically they also found clothing worn in the attack such as a puffer jacket.
On June 30th 2023, the Dipippa indictment was announced publicly. Within the next day, an announcement came from the admins on Kolektiva. Kolektiva is the Mastodon instance, that is currently the most used instance by Antifa and other left wing extremists. The announcement claimed that during a raid an unencrypted copy of the Kolektiva database was taken the the FBI. An unencrypted copy of this database would undoubtedly be a useful tool to law enforcement, containing DMs, recent IP addresses, Emails and a variety of other information on a hub of violent extremism. The timing of the indictments and raid led us to hypothesize that the two were connected.
Kolektiva, the main Mastodon instance that many #antifa (such as a Chad Loder) moved to had an admin raided and arrested by the feds.— AntifaWatch (@AntifaWatch2) July 1, 2023
During the raid they were working on an unencrypted copy of the Kolektiva database, which they claim the feds now have. pic.twitter.com/xIa1mx5fvF
The Dipippas were taken into custody, and while Krystal Dipippa was released pre-trial with an unsecured appearance bond of $10,000, Brian was not with federal prosecutors opposing his release. Brian was denied release by Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy on July 3rd. The pretrial release motions were fairly simple at this point by the government.
The community response and jail support followed tactics used in other cases such as Antifa nail bomber Richard Hunsinger. Those tactics were to setup a website and social media page to solicit donations and letters in the mail. The website they setup is a blog under 'blackblogs.org', a site infamous for terrorist content and doxing. The support campaign was boosted by Torch Antifa Network and other violent extremist groups like Filler PGH.
The case was eventually assigned to Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan where Brian Dipippa once again made a motion for pretrial release. The documents filed in this motion were far more revealing. The government motion, filed on October 3rd, argued that Dipippa was a violent extremist who wanted to hurt police officers. Prosecutors stated
"He is an anarchist who wants to harm police officers"
Going on to say that
"His actions on April 18, 2023 were not the result of a momentary lapse in judgment by a young man. Defendant Brian DiPippa is 41, not 21. He is all about anarchy and harming law enforcement officers. His residence displays the flag of anarchy. He espouses and celebrates the hurting and/or killing of law enforcement officers."
In support of this motion the federal prosecutors attached a journal from Brian Dipippa's phone titled 'Who am I', which was almost certianly obtained during the raid. While the journals in the documents are short, the entries give insight into the mind of an extremist and identify important details about the creation of an anarcho-terrorist outlet.
Several key snippets are as follows
"I hold a deeply heartfelt appreciation for the criminal illegal destructive arts, so naturally I was led to anarchism."
"I'm a softey, tender-hearted vegan animal lover who suffers from hyper-violent tendencies toward fascists."
"Kneecaps, groin, throats and eyes - we get happy when cops keel over and die."
These remark show Dipippa's extremist desire for violence against police and 'fascists', while at the same time telling himself he's a softey.
"I burn my whiteness off with a black-bloc suit, pheonixing into ancestral warriors from all races and genders"
This remark gives an interesting insight into the White racial self hatred that many Antifa and left wing extremists have, imagining his Whiteness being burned off by putting on Black block. Black block is a tactic used primarily by left wing extremists to avoid being identified within a crowd by law enforcement and other entities.
"I am a comedian who has made websites that aren't funny, mostly serious-ass political ones like igd, kolektivia, couple more, can't say shh, I werk for the movement now. y'all made me a hundredaire. Never sold out to Soros"
This remark, while short confirms Dipippa's involvement in Kolektiva as well as anarcho-terrorist outlet "It's Going Down" often times referred to as IGD. For the better part of a decade It's Going Down has been the preeminent platform for calls to action and organizing amongst Antifa and the extremist left. IGD has hosted content claiming credit for terrorist attacks on public infrastructure, calls for violence, calls for vandalism, and calls to disrupt (attack) right wing demonstrations. On December 15th 2022, IGD was banned from Twitter for its violent extremism.
The depth of Dipippa's involvement beyond IGD's creation isn't entirely clear. IGD has been continuing to push out content while he has been in jail, meaning a number of other people are involved in writing for and administrating the site. One such individual identified earlier this year is Heidi 'GothBotAlice' Lightenburger of Denver, Colorado who is an IGD columnist.
The couple more, can't say shh comment there points to likely involvement in the creation other websites. While we can only hypothesize at what they could be (blackblogs, noblogs, etc), refusing to even mention a name would likely imply that they are also extremist.
In Brian Dipippa's motion for pre-trial release he focuses on connections to the community, having turned over his firearms, having employment planned, and a third party custodian to stay with upon release.
Dipippa's firearms were consigned to a gun store in Etna. One of those firearms, a shotgun, has an anarchist symbol affixed to it.
The connections to community are highlighted by letters from DEI coach Nancy Kahn and Brian Knauss of Riseup Networks. Riseup Networks being the owner of Riseup.net, an anarcho-communist email service that proudly displays a red (color for communism) and black (color for anarchism) star as it's symbol. Riseup has become incredibly popular with Antifa groups due it's willingness to allow violent extremists, doxers, and other criminals to use its platform. Riseup also has heavily embraced encryption and resistance to state surveillance, critical items to Antifa groups. Riseup.net has been in invite only mode for some time, meaning there is some degree of social proof/trust afforded to groups & individuals with Riseup emails.
Riseup Networks confirmed that, if released, Brian Dipippa will have immediate employment. Meaning that while on release from a case involving violent extremism, Dipippa would continue working on technical platforms that enable violent extremists. This presents a pretty uncomfortable issue for Riseup.net users; a person currently under federal indictment whose negligence (storing the Kolektiva database unencrypted) has already led to a massive security failure with access to Riseup data.
Riseup Networks also confirmed that some of this employment would be through Newday.Host. This business that is a terminated LLC registered in California to Brian Dipippa. NewDay.host appears to be a fairly generic web hosting and services company according to their website, however it's unknown if they do contracting or other work for platforms such as Riseup and IGD.
The motions for pretrial release are still pending and while the case against the Dipippa's is strong it's unclear if it will go to trial or end in a plea deal. A plea deal involving cooperation would be a big win for the government, as Dipippa has deep knowledge of extremist technical platforms.
Regardless Brian Dipippa is a deeply connected extremist that is connected to key technical infrastructure critical to Antifa and the extremist left. We will continue to monitor this case and post updates here or on our social media.