This was really big': Far-right extremist groups use Capitol attack to recruit new members

WASHINGTON -- Wednesday’s mob insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., is unlikely to be the last violent action from far-right extremists, who may also be using the week’s extraordinary events to recruit members for a swelling coalition around outgoing president Donald Trump, according to experts on extremism.

While this week’s attack was extraordinary in it’s brazenness, it was also a wake-up call to federal and local law enforcement that threats from far-right Trump supporters should be taken very seriously over the last two weeks of Trump’s presidency and beyond, said Mary McCord, legal director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

“There’s a whole lot of talk about what happened in far-right extremist forums and chatrooms today, and about how the inauguration on January 20 will be the last stand and now is the time to recruit,” McCord said.

State capitols should ramp up security, much as Washington, D.C., has started to do, she said, in the expectation that Trump's followers may try to repeat this week's attack or worse.

President Donald Trump spoke to the crowd and urged them to go to the building. Then the crowd turned violent as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said he’s less concerned about organized attacks on federal or state capitols — though he agreed those should be heavily guarded on Inauguration Day — than he is about individuals or small extremist groups carrying out plots or shootings in the next two weeks.

“There’s more of a danger of loose cannons going off and deciding to do something,” Pitcavage said.

A boost for extremist recruitment
More than 40 Three Percenters demonstrated Saturday at a Black Lives Matter protest in Louisville, Kentucky, July 25, 2020
It’s unclear whether Wednesday’s attack was led by any particular organization or individuals, but participants in the mob included people sporting insignia from the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, two of the most well-known national extremist groups.

Chris Hill, leader of the III% Security Force, an extremist group in Atlanta, said he’s been contacted by several people interested in joining groups like his since the Capitol takeover. (The Three Percenters are a loosely-affiliated collection of armed extremist groups named for the myth that only 3 percent of Americans took up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War.)


“A lot of people are very interested in seeking out patriot groups at this time,” Hill said. “They’re using alternative platforms and networking to resist what they’re feeling is tyranny from the government.”

Online message boards, websites and social media platforms dedicated to the armed far-right movement have been abuzz since the angry mob took over the nation’s seat of power, said JJ MacNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism in Washington.


“There’s a lot of chatter,” said MacNab, “I usually try to downplay these things unless it’s really big, but this was really big."

MacNab compared Wednesday’s attack to other incidents that have spurred growth in pro-gunextremist groups, notably the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014, when a relatively small group of armed men faced off against federal agents.

“I used to think that Bundy Ranch was the big one, but this was much, much bigger,” she said.

Heavily armed civilians with a group known as the Oath Keepers arrive in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 11, 2015.
Pitcavage was less sure. He said he doesn’t yet know whether Wednesday’s attack will ultimately serve or hinder the pro-gun extremist movement.

These groupsare already primed for a boost, Pitcavage said. Membership swelled in the first years of the Obama presidency, due largely to new recruits terrified that Obama would attempt to pass strict new gun laws. But growth in the groups has slowed under Trump, he said.

An incoming Democrat as president could push more people into the movement, Pitcavage said. But he’s not convinced that this week’s events would add to that surge.

“The militia movement has a tendency to disassociate itself from things that get bad publicity,” he said.

Blame antifa
Almost immediately following the attack, some within the militia movement, along with right-wing media personalities and politicians, were already blaming the Capitol attack on someone else: anti-fascist activists.

On social media and online message boards like MyMilitia.com, posters soon coalesced around a popular conspiracy theory: That the mob that actually broke into the Capitol on Wednesday, as opposed to the hordes who surrounded it, weren’t right-wing extremists at all, but instead were anti-fascists in disguise.

There’s no evidence to support this. Several of the people who have already been recognized as illegal intruders have already been associated with far-right groups, including the QAnon conspiracy theory and the Proud Boys.

Hill, in Georgia, repeated this disproven theory in an interview and renounced the people who “trespassed” in the Capitol, saying they should have made their point by simply surrounding the building, rather than going inside.

On Wednesday evening, the FBI announced it was searching for people who were involved in Wednesday’s attack. Since many were caught on camera or on video, their identities -- as well as their political affiliations-- may soon be revealed for all to see.

Comments

  • Very interesting article Raion, keep them coming.
  • Raion wrote: »
    WASHINGTON -- Wednesday’s mob insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., is unlikely to be the last violent action from far-right extremists, who may also be using the week’s extraordinary events to recruit members for a swelling coalition around outgoing president Donald Trump, according to experts on extremism.

    While this week’s attack was extraordinary in it’s brazenness, it was also a wake-up call to federal and local law enforcement that threats from far-right Trump supporters should be taken very seriously over the last two weeks of Trump’s presidency and beyond, said Mary McCord, legal director at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

    “There’s a whole lot of talk about what happened in far-right extremist forums and chatrooms today, and about how the inauguration on January 20 will be the last stand and now is the time to recruit,” McCord said.

    State capitols should ramp up security, much as Washington, D.C., has started to do, she said, in the expectation that Trump's followers may try to repeat this week's attack or worse.

    President Donald Trump spoke to the crowd and urged them to go to the building. Then the crowd turned violent as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
    Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, said he’s less concerned about organized attacks on federal or state capitols — though he agreed those should be heavily guarded on Inauguration Day — than he is about individuals or small extremist groups carrying out plots or shootings in the next two weeks.

    “There’s more of a danger of loose cannons going off and deciding to do something,” Pitcavage said.

    A boost for extremist recruitment
    More than 40 Three Percenters demonstrated Saturday at a Black Lives Matter protest in Louisville, Kentucky, July 25, 2020
    It’s unclear whether Wednesday’s attack was led by any particular organization or individuals, but participants in the mob included people sporting insignia from the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, two of the most well-known national extremist groups.

    Chris Hill, leader of the III% Security Force, an extremist group in Atlanta, said he’s been contacted by several people interested in joining groups like his since the Capitol takeover. (The Three Percenters are a loosely-affiliated collection of armed extremist groups named for the myth that only 3 percent of Americans took up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War.)


    “A lot of people are very interested in seeking out patriot groups at this time,” Hill said. “They’re using alternative platforms and networking to resist what they’re feeling is tyranny from the government.”

    Online message boards, websites and social media platforms dedicated to the armed far-right movement have been abuzz since the angry mob took over the nation’s seat of power, said JJ MacNab, a fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism in Washington.


    “There’s a lot of chatter,” said MacNab, “I usually try to downplay these things unless it’s really big, but this was really big."

    MacNab compared Wednesday’s attack to other incidents that have spurred growth in pro-gunextremist groups, notably the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014, when a relatively small group of armed men faced off against federal agents.

    “I used to think that Bundy Ranch was the big one, but this was much, much bigger,” she said.

    Heavily armed civilians with a group known as the Oath Keepers arrive in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 11, 2015.
    Pitcavage was less sure. He said he doesn’t yet know whether Wednesday’s attack will ultimately serve or hinder the pro-gun extremist movement.

    These groupsare already primed for a boost, Pitcavage said. Membership swelled in the first years of the Obama presidency, due largely to new recruits terrified that Obama would attempt to pass strict new gun laws. But growth in the groups has slowed under Trump, he said.

    An incoming Democrat as president could push more people into the movement, Pitcavage said. But he’s not convinced that this week’s events would add to that surge.

    “The militia movement has a tendency to disassociate itself from things that get bad publicity,” he said.

    Blame antifa
    Almost immediately following the attack, some within the militia movement, along with right-wing media personalities and politicians, were already blaming the Capitol attack on someone else: anti-fascist activists.

    On social media and online message boards like MyMilitia.com, posters soon coalesced around a popular conspiracy theory: That the mob that actually broke into the Capitol on Wednesday, as opposed to the hordes who surrounded it, weren’t right-wing extremists at all, but instead were anti-fascists in disguise.

    There’s no evidence to support this. Several of the people who have already been recognized as illegal intruders have already been associated with far-right groups, including the QAnon conspiracy theory and the Proud Boys.

    Hill, in Georgia, repeated this disproven theory in an interview and renounced the people who “trespassed” in the Capitol, saying they should have made their point by simply surrounding the building, rather than going inside.

    On Wednesday evening, the FBI announced it was searching for people who were involved in Wednesday’s attack. Since many were caught on camera or on video, their identities -- as well as their political affiliations-- may soon be revealed for all to see.

    Agent G calling Agent R, come-in R. Over.
    Agent R, backatcha.
    I have a plan, over.
    Run it, over.
    A revival of COINTELPRO, with a twist.
    Oh goody, over.
    The end game-play is simple. But, the short-story is...there's gonna be a lot of...hold it...we might be tapped on this line. More details...later. Shuuusssssss. Not a word. Out.
  • Also, quite cool, in a way. "...is unlikely to be the last violent action from far-right extremists, who may also be using the week’s extraordinary events to recruit members...".

    1. Recruit more members, the more room for infiltrators to get-in and fuck shit UP! Ala' COINTELPRO...and a few USMC dirty tricks to pull on them.
    2. More Wiretapping, and infil, too.
    3. "selective-targeting".
    4. Get sommoe coochie. Why not? The infiltrators won't be telling their real names? If I could go, I'd tell mofoze my name is John Public. Let 'em find "me" online. And get JP all riled up. LMAO!!!
    5. Oh pleaseeeeese, God. Let'tum call me back up for duty. A three-month, or two, would be as much Kat would stand! If not, I'd be comin' back home to a sold house, kids gone, and a summons to divorce court!!!
  • But, I can see a fuck-up now.
    In all the confusion, I'm tapped as a traitor under mistaken identity.
    Trapped and can't get out of it...n matter what I say or can prove.
    I'm then sent to a plantation in Ass Crack, Alabama.
    The plantion's name is...RaNan, Inc. "Niggas R' Us". Uh oh. Here we go.
    I'm thinking I can slide and prove it's all bogus and get the fuck outta there!
    Raion and Nandi won't be back until Spring of 2025. WTF?!?!
    And, there's ol' Greg, but this time, the mule's on MY BACK...and I'm pickin' cotton likka'muthafucka...wih my TEETH no less.
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