This week’s update features some of the following:
- Boogaloo adherent arrested for trying to escalate violence at BLM protests
- Congress getting canceled over vague fears of a ‘militia threat’
- The Oath Keepers’ J6 “QRF”
- Gosar offers a public endorsement of fascism
Boogaloo adherent arrested for trying to incite violence at BLM actions
Jaap Willem Lijbers, a Boogaloo adherent from the Netherlands, was arrested this week for his alleged attempts to escalate the situation at BLM demonstrations. This provides yet another public example of Boogaloo Boys joining BLM or other ostensibly ‘left’ movements to try to use them as a fulcrum to push for the civil war meme from which their name is derived. There was a fundraiser for the arrestee pretty quickly. Almost as quickly, though, this fundraiser was taken offline.
This arrest has also pushed a few other articles or announcements. For example, a piece in Homeland Security Today about the ‘evolution’ of the Boogaloo movement. Or an FBI agent saying that the movement isn’t as ‘lighthearted’ as the Hawaiian shirts they often don. Other media is seemingly catching up on research done on the Boogaloo that’s now months old, like the Dallas News covering the North Texas Boogaloo movement. Despite this catching up, or perhaps because of it, some journalists have been struggling with how to cover these movements. This past week, a claimed Boogaloo ‘informant’ was provided an outlet in Salon as a “would-be revolutionary”. If you are or know a local journalist and are looking for a useful handbook on how to cover these movements, MilitiaWatch highly recommends this guide from Chris Jones at 100 Days in Appalachia. Data&Society also put out a handbook 2.5 years ago on the “Oxygen of Amplification” that is well worth brushing up on, too, which can be read here.
Perhaps related to clumsy reporting on these groups, so much of our current reporting environment can be tied to the particulars of the ‘national security’ framework now being applied to movements like the Boogaloo. The DHS this past week released yet another vague memo in which they said domestic terror causes “could escalate” in 2021. Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, said the same thing, warning that “domestic terrorism” is growing in the United States.
House called off session due to ‘militia threat’
This week, a House session was cancelled due to extremely vague claims about an ‘online threat’ made by a militia group. MilitiaWatch has not been able to confirm within our network what the specifics of this were, but assume it may have been over the QAnon conspiracy theory that Trump would be sworn in on the 4th of March. While there are certainly very real threats (and have been for longer than MilitiaWatch has even been around), this contemporary political/social scene we find ourselves in has led to perhaps a hyper-vigilance about perceived threats should the FBI or DHS begin to express concern publicly.
Sorry, y’all, there’s still more stuff coming out of the storming of the US Capitol Building to cover, now a full 2 months later. Here’s what these updates look like.
Robert Minuta’s tattoo shop vandalized
One of the Oath Keepers charged with storming the Capitol (and also security personnel for Roger Stone in DC within the day) reportedly had his tattoo shop vandalized this week. The shop, Casa di Dolore Tattoo Parler, is located in Newburgh, New York. Most of the windows were broken and in black spray paint, someone added the phrase “ANTIFA DID THIS”.*
*(It’s perhaps worth mentioning that the inclusion of this phrase doesn’t necessarily mean antifascists actually vandalized the shop, and there has been a small but public pattern of similar vandalizations being used for insurance claims. Much about the actual vandalization of the shop is still unknown, beyond the fact that it was vandalized overnight this week.)
Some notes on the Oath Keepers’ “Quick Reaction Force”
There’s been a bit of discussion of this Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in the FBI documents submitted as evidence accompanying their charges for J6. The newest court documents by defendant Oath Keepers now claim that their QRF was one old guy with a bad knee. However, there was a crew of men just across the bridge in Arlington gathered near their trucks at the Marines Corps War Memorial, potentially in preparation for something more escalatory (a detail that hasn’t been investigated too far yet).
Many charged now saying that Trump is to blame for their actions
In a defense tactic that actually hasn’t worked for others who have tried it, some J6 defendants are attempting to place liability for their actions on the inciting words of Donald Trump. It’s unlikely that this will have much of an impact on their individual court proceedings, though. In 2018, the Kansas Crusaders, a III% Security Force subunit/splinter, attempted to blame Trump’s words for their actions. They were sentenced a year later for their plans to bomb an apartment complex housing Somali refugees.
FBI chief says no evidence that “Antifa” took part in the storming
Kind of an obvious one here, but given the conspiracy theories around the storming being a ‘false flag’ perpetrated by Biden and his ‘antifa allies’ (yes, really), FBI Director Christopher Wray confirmed in the Senate that there is no evidence that antifascist groups took part in the storming of the Capitol.
4 charges against NFAC lead dropped, still indicted on a 5th
According to sympathetic sources*, Grandmaster Jay, the leader of the Not Fucking Around Coalition (NFAC), had four of his five charges dropped this week, following federal charges associated with his pointing a rifle at deputies in Kentucky late last summer. He was indicted the week before by a grand jury. Several members of the UK ‘chapter’ of the NFAC also protested in front of the US Embassy calling for the leader to be fully exonerated of his wanton endangerment charges.
*Note here: this is not yet verified, though Jay’s legal proceedings don’t get a lot of news coverage in general.
GOP Representative Paul Gosar skipped COVID relief vote to speak at White Nationalist conference
Paul Gosar, a GOP representative from Arizona, skipped a stimulus vote to speak at the AFPAC, Nick Fuentes’ CPAC spinoff for even further-right nationalists. This is a disturbing development because it has empowered Groypers to claim that this speaking feature gives them more legitimacy, even as the movement has been dodging bans and deplatforms from social media and payment processors in the past few months.