Happy July, y’all. Here’s a two-week update after MilitiaWatch took last Monday off. There’s a lot to cover here, but here are some included:
- Two new MilitiaWatch pieces (YCPT and III% Security Force)
- Moorish group has armed standoff in Massachusetts
- Stewart Rhodes talks to Feds, attends CPAC
- III% tattoo spotted on Food Network participant
- VA militia still raffling guns, gain writing position at local outlet
But first, here are two MilitiaWatch articles that have been put online in the last two weeks. The first is one on the YCPT, an Arizona splinter of the Oath Keepers that is now seeking to create a parallel national structure to compete with Stewart Rhodes’ organization:
Because the YCPT piece is so long, here’s a “TL;DR” version with the key notes:
The other MilitiaWatch article added recently is a follow-up to this great Unicorn Riot post and the leak of III% Security Force Discord messages. It details the schisms of the III% Security Force over the last few years.
Okay, now that the promotional bit is over with, here’s the weekly.
Rise of the Moors members engaged in an armed standoff against the police in Massachusetts, filming large portions of the tense few hours before many of their members fled into the nearby woods. The men were traveling to a training site and were carrying all of their gear in their car, but had rifles across their bodies while refueling their van on the side of the road. Eleven members of the group were arrested and their court appearances have been admittedly pretty wild.
Carlos Zapata, a right-wing activist aligned with Recall and militia activity in northern California, was arrested last week. This led to demonstrations against the prosecutor who charged Zapata with a misdemeanor for his assault of a comedian who has poked fun at Zapata’s political campaign in the last few months. At one courthouse demonstration, a member of the California State Militia spoke, encouraging others to protest again today (Monday, 12 July 2021).
The first charges against a Boogaloo adherent related to J6 happened last week. This first Boogaloo adherent charged is also an Army veteran. The court filings for the defendant seem to indicate there will be more Boog arrests to come. This tracks with the FBI/DOJ method for approaching J6, which involves snowball charges using networks from those arrested, often under plea agreements. This defendant apparently also uploaded images of himself storming the Capitol online.
Mark Grods, a defendant from Alabama in the J6 cases, agreed to plead guilty last week. He indicated that he would be willing to testify about the Oath Keepers’ “Quick Reaction Force” (or “QRF”), and the specific weapons stored at the nearby hotel where it was technically stationed.
David Moerschel, a defendant from Florida in the J6 cases, was arrested last week and accused of planning for the storming of the US Capitol Building online. He also apparently stashed his rifle with the QRF at their hotel in Ballston, Virginia. He was also hit specifically with conspiracy charges, joining some of the other early Oath Keepers arrestees with these accusations.
A Virginia militia whose membership was involved in the J6 storming was started as a Bible study group as a cover, new documents indicate. The leader of the militia went by the name “Monkey King”, and the group was apparently infiltrated by the FBI.
Robert Morss, a defendant from Pennsylvania in the J6 cases, had a LEGO set seized from his home as evidence, alongside a notebook detailing a method for how to create a militia. The LEGO set is likely from the LEGO Architecture line and looks like this when fully built:
Stewart Rhodes, the head of the Oath Keepers organization, also sat down with the FBI for questioning regarding J6. This was against advice from his lawyers. No charges have yet come against the often rhetorically aggressive Yale graduate. Rhodes also appeared at CPAC, the stuffy, conservative version of ComicCon, wearing an official pass for the event. Tasha, Stewart Rhodes’ estranged wife now going through a divorce with the leader, posted on her blog about the dance being had between the FBI and Rhodes right now, offering interesting insight into when and whether or not her ex-partner will “go quietly”.
Plea deals, several of which are mentioned above, appear to be having major repercussions against the organizations charged related to the J6 storming of the US Capitol Building. Time will tell if this is lasting chaos or just a temporary impact confined to the contemporary moment.
A few weeks ago, Canada designated the III% as a domestic terror organization. The details of what this means for the brand of militant organizing are still being described.
A III% member made comments to a CNN reporter at Trump’s Ohio rally a couple of weekends ago, saying that he felt violence related to Trump and the 2020 election is “coming”. Others were filmed as part of the CNN bit, including a Proud Boys member and several Trump supporters who, over 8 months after the election, are still claiming that the election was stolen. These views are not going away, and the CNN clip at the Trump rally shows just how easy it still is to find this.
A participant on the Food Network show “BBQ Brawl” was identified as having a III% tattoo on the back of his arm. When confronted about it, he said he didn’t think it was a big deal.
The lawyers of teen shooter Kyle Rittenhouse claimed in court this past week that one of the teen’s dead adversaries was shot dead in part due to his sex offender status. Their logic is that the dead demonstrator couldn’t buy a gun and so wanted Rittenhouse’s, but more seems indicative of the defense’s attempts to describe the teen’s victims as immoral or worth shooting.
Two Wolverine Watchmen members from the plot to kidnap and “put on trial” the governor of Michigan were set for sentencing in the past couple of weeks. These two men, Wyckoff and Garbin, had their sentences set a month apart (Garbin’s will come next month).
A county militia in Virginia has once more publicly described their group’s gun raffle to raise money for the group. This has been a fixture of the group since its formation following the January 2020 gun rally in Richmond, Virginia. This time, though, the coverage of the raffle was written specifically by the militia’s “Public Information Officer”, a detail the outlet failed to mention.
The New Mexico Civil Guard, a militia group written about by MW here, has been threatening to sue the city of Albuquerque based on the city’s treatment of the group during and after the June 2020 protest that led to a near-fatal shooting. The militia group has been in negotiations with the city up until this past Thursday. No members of the group were ever charged regarding their activity last summer.
- On the DHS discussing an August conspiracy threat (KTEN)
- On Paul Gosar’s activities (The Informant, MSNBC)