A Politico report on Tuesday says that a white supremacist channel on Telegram reportedly encouraged followers to incite violence during the massive police protests following the death of George Floyd.
Floyd was killed May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during a detainment.
The former Minneapolis police officer responsible was charged with murder and manslaughter last week.
What are the details?
Citing an internal Department of Homeland Security memo, white supremacists were reportedly encouraged to create mayhem by “shooting in a crowd.”
The memo reported that the FBI said that the channel in Telegram “incited followers to engage in violence and start the ‘boogaloo’ — a term used by some violent extremists to refer to the start of a second Civil War — by shooting in a crowd.”
Telegram is an encrypted messaging app.
The DHS memo — reportedly issued May 29 — was distributed among law enforcement officials to warn them of “suspected anarchist extremists and militia extremists allegedly planned to storm and burn the Minnesota State Capitol,” Politico said.
Further, the memo reportedly stated that plans about the Minnesota State Capitol were in place in 2019 — however, a “footnote describing the FBI’s information says twice that the plans were made in 2020.”
The outlet reported that a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety was unable to confirm or deny the report due to security reasons.
“A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment,” Politico reported. “After publication, a DHS spokesperson flagged
a tweet from DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. In the tweet, Wolf confirmed that DHS had reported that domestic terrorists were trying to exploit the protests.”
read, “No surprise – another @ABC headline is intentionally misleading the public for clicks. To be clear, last week @DHSgov reported that domestic terrorists are ‘looking to exploit’ the current civil unrest.”
The outlet concluded:
Despite the DHS intelligence note, administration officials have focused overwhelmingly on alleged left-wing violence. The note itself does not use the terms “left” or “right.” But it defines “militia extremists” as people who direct violence at the government because they believe it is taking away Americans’ freedoms and setting up a totalitarian regime. That definition also notes that militia extremists oppose laws regulating gun ownership and often form armed paramilitary groups. Those details are all hallmarks of far right extremism.
The May 31 ABC News article in question
states that Wolf said left-wing agitators were inciting the violence, despite the DHS report pointing to extremists on both the left and right.
The DHS note is reportedly the fifth of its kind in the last two months, and has warned of the mobilization of domestic terrorists and violent extremists.
“On April 23,” Politico reported, “as so-called Liberate protesters began demonstrating outside several states’ capitol buildings demanding an end to the coronavirus lockdowns, DHS warned that the pandemic was ‘driving violent actors — both non-ideologically and ideologically motivated — to threaten violence’ and ‘serving as the impetus for some domestic terrorist plots.'”