White supremacists are using an encrypted messaging app called Telegram to devise schemes with the intent of weaponizing the coronavirus to target law enforcement agents and “nonwhite” people, according to a report by Yahoo News.
According to a law enforcement weekly intelligence brief, federal investigators appear to be monitoring neo-Nazis’ conversations on Telegram where plans of weaponizing items such as spray bottles with infected saliva were discussed.
“Violent extremists continue to make bioterrorism a popular topic among themselves. White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists have recently commented on the coronavirus stating that it is an ‘OBLIGATION’ to spread it should any of them contract the virus,” the intelligence brief written by the Federal Protective Service, a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, read.
Yahoo News goes on to quote the brief which said that the neo-Nazis discussed “suggested targeting… law enforcement and minority communities, with some mention of public places in general.”
The document, which covered the week of Feb. 17-24, also said discussions from the white supremacists centered around methods such as “leaving ‘saliva on door handles’ at local FBI offices, spitting on elevator buttons and spreading coronavirus germs in ‘nonwhite neighborhoods.’”
According to the intelligence brief, these conversations took place in a “siege culture” channel within the Telegram app, which is devoted to philosophies that “advocate for acts of racial terrorism” with the aim of disrupting society.