Far-right groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers are splintering and realigning after the Capitol riot, report says

Capitol siege
Trump supporters wearing military-style apparel walk around inside the Capitol on January 6. Saul Loeb/Getty Images
  • Far-right groups are splintering after the Capitol riot, analysts told The New York Times.
  • Some may form new groups to launch violent attacks, the analysts said.
  • Extremist groups including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers were involved in the Capitol attack.
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Far-right groups are splintering in the wake of the Capitol riot but are likely to regroup into new organizations, extremism analysts say.

Experts spoke with The New York Times about the phenomenon and the discord within the groups after the attack on January 6.

Posts on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, where far-right groups coalesced after being ousted from mainstream platforms, suggest that extremist groups are riven by paranoia and disputes.

Insider reported in February that the Proud Boys, a right-wing “male chauvinist” street gang, had been beset by infighting since the revelation that one of its leaders, Enrique Tarrio, was a longtime FBI informant.

“What you are seeing right now is a regrouping phase,” Devin Burghart, who runs the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, told The Times. “They are trying to reassess their strengths, trying to find new foot soldiers and trying to prepare for the next conflict.”

Other groups, including the Oath Keepers, a far-right paramilitary group, and the Groyper Army, a white-nationalist youth group, have also fractured under pressure from law enforcement, The Times reported.

Law-enforcement agencies have said they arrested members of the groups involved in the chaos that engulfed the Capitol, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

But experts warned that new groups could form or that radicalized individuals could commit acts of violence alone.

“There is a small segment that is going to see this as Lexington and Concord, the shot heard around the world, and the beginning of either the racial holy war or the fall of our society, of our government,” Tom O’Connor, a retired FBI counterterrorism specialist, told The Times. Lexington and Concord were the Massachusetts settlements where the first shots were fired in the Revolutionary War.