After the storming of the US Capitol Building on 6 January 2021, media has been trying to figure out who the Oath Keepers are. 60 Minutes, 3 months after the riot, interviewed 4 members of a group calling themselves the “Arizona Oath Keepers”. In mid-June 2021, 60 Minutes re-aired the segment, providing the group more airtime. These Oath Keepers were four members of a Prescott, Arizona area organization known as the Yavapai County Preparedness Team.
Who are the Yavapai County Preparedness Team (YCPT)? The YCPT is an Arizona Oath Keepers chapter, previously directly part of the Stewart Rhodes-led national organization but now autonomous and independent. They still, however, call themselves Oath Keepers and use Oath Keepers iconography and ideology to describe themselves. This article explores their structure, their relationships to the right, and where it looks like they are heading.
This is a very long article, so MilitiaWatch has prepared a first “TL;DR” (too long; didn’t read) that hits at some of the core points from this investigation without the goose chases and too-in-the-weeds writing the MW audience might be accustomed to at this point. You can read that here:
This article follows up a previous MilitiaWatch article on the use of Zello, a free walkie-talkie app, by the US-based armed far-right, including aggressive activists working in support of former president Donald Trump. That article with visualizations is available here:
Since that article, further investigation of right-wing militant groups’ use of Zello resulted in the direct recording of it being used at the 6 January storming of the US Capitol Building. This was then published in The Guardian. As references in that article, a list of over 800 channels was sent to Zello with a request for comment. Zello subsequently announced that they had banned 2000 militia-related channels, though they described groups’ use of the platform as “social media vanity messaging”. An On the media podcast covering this can be listened to at this link.