- Two men believed to be supporters of QAnon were arrested on firearms charges after parking a Hummer outside a Philadelphia ballot-counting centre, authorities said.
- The truck was adorned with a QAnon sticker and a QAnon hat was visible through the windshield, pictures showed.
- QAnon supporters and other far-right extremists have appeared at nationwide protests as they refuse to accept President-elect Joe Biden’s projected win.
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Two men were arrested and charged with carrying a firearm without a licence and carrying a firearm on public streets after authorities discovered an SUV full of firearms outside a Philadelphia ballot-counting centre Thursday.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a press release on Friday that the two men, Joshua Macias and Antonio Lamotta, had parked their Hummer outside the Philadelphia Convention Centre, where election officials continued counting ballots in the days after the election.
Numerous viral tweets showed the truck adorned with a QAnon sticker and an American flag, and a QAnon hat visible through the windshield. The vehicle also had a “WWG1WGA” sticker on its back windshield, which stands for the movement’s slogan, “Where we go one, we go all.”
Krasner confirmed at a Friday press conference that the vehicle belonged to the two men, NBC News reported.
Y’all the qanon Hummer has a PPA ticket ???????????? pic.twitter.com/Oa7N5mQPKE
— Britt (@brimil) November 6, 2020
— Robert Moran (@RobertMoran215) November 6, 2020
Macias and Lamotta were charged with carrying a firearm without a licence and carrying a firearm on public streets or public property, a third-degree felony and first-degree misdemeanour, respectively. Police say they obtained two loaded semi-automatic Beretta pistols, one semi-automatic AR-15-style rifle, and ammunition from the men, according to the press release.
WHYY, NPR’s affiliate outlet in Philadelphia, reported that Lamotta was a member of a far-right militant group called the Virginia Armed Patriots.
Krasner said in the press release that despite the “alarming incident,” there have been “no reported incidents of violence related to the election” in Philadelphia.
“At this time we do not have indications that the story is bigger than these two individuals,” Krasner said in Friday’s press conference, according to WHYY. Krasner added that the investigation “may turn out to be nothing more than two people deciding to come to Philadelphia at a particular time for a somewhat unknown purpose.”
A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office told Insider that they had no additional comment, but that this “remains a highly active investigation.”
Philadelphia authorities were alerted to the truck by the FBI field office in Norfolk, Virginia, which had received a tip about the men, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at Friday’s press conference.
Believers in QAnon, the baseless far-right conspiracy theory alleging President Donald Trump is fighting a “deep state” cabal of human traffickers, have been spotted at nationwide protests against President-elect Joe Biden’s projected win. As President Trump continues to spread misinformation related to the election, his supporters have taken to battleground cities to protest. QAnon supporters have been protesting alongside other armed extremists, Christopher Mathias of HuffPost reported.
QAnon supporters have been linked to several incidents of violence since the conspiracy theory’s creation in 2017 and the FBI warned in 2019 that the group could pose a domestic terrorism threat.
- Read more:
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- Facebook takes down group for making false election claims and ‘worrying calls for violence’ after it amassed over 365,000 members in 2 days
- Trump supporters are flocking to alternative social networks to plan election-office protests after Facebook banned groups that attracted hundreds of thousands of members
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