Far-right ‘boogaloo’ extremists may ‘target’ Washington, DC, intelligence assessments say

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FILE – In this May 2, 2020, file photo, people, including those with the boogaloo movement, demonstrate against business closures due to concern about COVID-19, at the State House in Concord, N.H. It’s a fringe movement with roots in a online meme culture steeped in irony and dark humour. But experts warn that the anti-government boogaloo movement has attracted a dangerous element of far-right extremists. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File) Associated Press
  • Two new intelligence assessments warned that far-right individuals associated with the ‘boogaloo’ movement may soon target Washington, DC, Politico reported.
  • One note, from the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC), said that “the District is likely a target for violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology due to the significant presence of US law enforcement entities, and the wide range of First Amendment-Protected events hosted there.”
  • The Department of Homeland Security published its own assessment on Friday with a similar conclusion.
  • The DHS note said that “domestic terrorists advocating for the boogaloo very likely will take advantage of any regional or national situation involving heightened fear and tensions to promote their violent extremist ideology and call supporters to action.”
  • These findings come amid multiple instances of far-right individuals being arrested for allegedly stoking violence connected to nationwide demonstrations against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
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An intelligence assessment from the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC) warned that far-right extremists may soon target Washington, DC, Politico reported.

The note, dated June 15, said that “the District is likely a target for violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology due to the significant presence of US law enforcement entities, and the wide range of First Amendment-Protected events hosted there.”

The NTIC is a fusion centre in DC that works with the US Department of Homeland Security and other federal authorities to conduct “regional analysis and share information on terrorism, crime, and natural hazards.”

“Recent events indicate violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology likely reside in the National Capital Region, and others may be willing to travel far distances to incite civil unrest of conduct violence encouraged in online forums associated with the movement,” the NTIC’s assessment said, according to Politico.

On Friday, the outlet reported, the DHS published its own intelligence note with a similar conclusion.

The note said that “domestic terrorists advocating for the boogaloo very likely will take advantage of any regional or national situation involving heightened fear and tensions to promote their violent extremist ideology and call supporters to action.”

The primary goal of the DHS note is to provide information “regarding some domestic terrorists’ exploitation of heightened tensions during First Amendment-protected activities in order to threaten or incite violence to start the ‘boogaloo’ – a colloquial term referring to a coming civil war or the fall of civilisation.”

These intelligence assessments come amid multiple instances of individuals associated with the far-right being arrested in connection with stoking violence and riots connected to nationwide demonstrations against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd was a 46-year-old Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and begged for air.

Earlier this week, federal authorities said that a man charged with killing two officers in recent, separate attacks in California has ties to the “boogaloo” movement.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo was charged Tuesday with killing a federal service officer, 53-year-old David Patrick Underwood at an Oakland courthouse in a drive-by attack on May 29, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Carrillo also faces state charges in the killing of Santa Cruz County Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller on June 6.

Law enforcement officials said Carrillo and his accomplice, Robert Justus, Jr., went to Oakland to kill police officers and believed that the protests would facilitate their motives.

Earlier this month, three men who were self-proclaimed members of the “boogaloo” movement were arrested on domestic terrorism charges and accused of carrying unregistered firearms and trying to spark riots during the demonstrations.

Last Monday, CNN reported that a man accused of driving his car through a crowd of protesters in Virginia during the previous weekend was an “admitted leader” of the Ku Klux Klan and a “propagandist for Confederate ideology,” according to the county attorney.

The man, Harry Rogers, was charged with attempted malicious wounding, felony vandalism and assault, and battery.

The arrests come as President Donald Trump and his allies urge law enforcement officials to crack down on the protests and accuse “antifa” – a loosely organised far-left group of anti-fascism activists – of sparking violence during the demonstrations.

But a closer examination of court records, media reports, and social media posts shows little evidence of a widespread or organised antifa-led effort to infiltrate the protests.

In early June, The Nation reported that the FBI had “no intelligence indicating Antifa involvement/presence” in violence that took place on May 31 as protests following Floyd’s death reached a climax. The report cited an internal situation report from the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office.

But the situation report did warn that people associated with a right-wing social media group had “called for far-right provocateurs to attack federal agents” and “use automatic weapons against protesters.”

Politico also reported this month that a DHS intelligence note warned law-enforcement officials that a white supremacist channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram encouraged its followers to incite violence to start a race war during the protests.

Citing the FBI, it said that two days after Floyd’s death, the channel “incited followers to engage in violence and start the ‘boogaloo.'”

One of the messages in the channel called for potential shooters to “frame the crowd around you” for the violence, the note said,according to Politico.

And NBC News reported that Twitter identified a group this month posing as an “antifa” organisation calling for violence in the protests as actually being linked to the white supremacist group Identity Evropa.

Twitter suspended the account, @ANTIFA_US, after it posted a tweet that incited violence. A company spokesperson also told NBC News that the account violated Twitter’s rules against platform manipulation and spam.