The FBI is warned lawmakers earlier this month that adherents to QAnon could engage in violence against their political opponents, as adherents of the deranged conspiracy become even more fanatical in their belief that the world is governed by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles continues.
The two-page threat assessment, titled “Adherence to QAnon Conspiracy Theory by Some Domestic Violent Extremists” and sent to lawmakers on June 4th, warns that it is “likely” that QAnon followers will believe they have an “obligation” to move on from being “digital soldiers” and engage in “real-world violence” against their opposition.
The idea that QAnon followers could resort to violence may seem obvious given the role the conspiracy theory played in the January 6th insurrection, but the FBI’s warning to Congress is a grim reminder that more bloodshed could be coming.
QAnon followers long believed that former President Trump would bring the ring of powerful liberal child traffickers to justice, and it was a desire to keep him in office that led many of them to storm the Capitol as the election results were being certified on January 6th. The assessment made public Monday notes that the FBI has arrested over 20 “self-identified QAnon adherents” who participated in the insurrection. Five people died as a direct result of the riot at the Capitol, and around 140 Capitol police officers were injured. FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee in April that he was “concerned” about the potential for more violence, and that an unclassified threat assessment was on its way to Congress.
Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the threat assessment on Tuesday, echoing the FBI’s belief that more violence could be coming from white supremacist extremist groups like QAnon. “In the FBI’s view, the top domestic violent extremist threat comes from racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority for the white race,” Garland said.
Attorney General Merrick Garland says domestic terrorists fighting for the "superiority of the white race" are the greatest threat to the United States. pic.twitter.com/0UDkBJXAoQ
— The Recount (@therecount) June 15, 2021
Garland issued a similar warning in May, warning a Senate panel that the “threat of lethality” from white supremacist extremists is “higher than it ever was.”
Not long after Garland warned of right-wing violence on Tuesday, Trump’s former secretary of State and potential 2024 presidential candidate Mike Pompeo asked his followers to join him and “become a Pipehitter,” defining the term as someone who “fights for our future” against “the radical Left’s agenda.”
Calling all unapologetic Americans to join me and become a Pipehitter. https://t.co/KO15jutDPi
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) June 15, 2021
The definition may sound familiar.
“We fight like hell,” Trump said at the January 6th rally in Washington, D.C., that devolved into the insurrection. “And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”