Dozens charged in Capitol riots spewed extremist rhetoric

February 16, 2021 ☼ domestic-terrorismqanonjan6nutjobs

Source: AP - Link

The FBI has linked at least 40 defendants to extremist groups or movements, including at least 16 members or associates of the neo-fascist Proud Boys and at least five connected to the anti-government Oath Keepers. FBI agents also explicitly tied at least 10 defendants to QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory that has grown beyond its fringe origins to penetrate mainstream Republican politics.

In at least 59 other cases, authorities link defendants to violent or extremist rhetoric, conspiracy theories or other far-right connections on social media and other forums before, during or after the Jan. 6 siege, a deeper review by the AP found.

The AP’s review found that in many of those cases the defendants repeated false claims, made by Trump for months of his presidency, that the U.S. election was rigged. Some broadcast death threats at Democrats on their social media accounts or in messages. Others were deeply entwined in a world of far-right conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic. And dozens of the alleged rioters echoed words used by QAnon supporters, who push a baseless belief that Trump is a secret warrior fighting to expose a cabal of Satan-worshipping bureaucrats and celebrities who traffic children.

Not only do they have a higher rate of domestic abuse and financial problems, they are willing to believe conspiracies that defy logic.