Right-Wing Extremists Concerned Planned Attacks On State Capitols Could Be 'FBI Honeypots'
Earlier this week, the FBI sent out a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country, saying that armed protests are being planned in all 50 state capitols and in Washington, DC, in the days leading up to the inauguration.
New: @FBI now reports in a bulletin "Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January thro… https://t.co/aQV1yN9M2L— Josh Margolin (@Josh Margolin)1610383610.0
This, of course, has been reported by various news outlets (including us!) for at least a month now. Now, in light of what happened last week at the Capitol building, state governments are preparing themselves for the worst.
Police and National Guard troops have already been posted and made arrests at statehouses in Washington and Idaho. Windows at the state Capitol in Wisconsin have been boarded up, and Michigan banned the open carry of firearms inside its Capitol.
Planning for these events had been happening on Twitter, Facebook, Parler and some other site called Wimkin (which was where the Million Militia March guy with the COVID-19-curing speakers was planning his action). However, now that mainstream sites are cracking down on extremist activity and sites like Parler are getting shut down, their plans are less clear.
Deplatforming far-right extremists is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it makes recruitment more difficult for them, it makes it more difficult for them to organize and plan major events. But it also drives them further underground and makes figuring out what they are up to a whole lot more difficult for those who track them.
In this case, however, it seems some of the more extreme sorts are backing away from these actions, claiming they are "fed honeypots" or false flags meant to trick extremists into showing up so that they can then be DESTROYED.
Here is one such meme being posted and shared among QAnon types on Gab, which is currently still semi-operational (or it was for a brief second before it froze my browser up).
In a missive on Telegram, one of the main apps right-wing extremists are now using for communication, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio discouraged Proud Boys from showing up any of the marches.
I don't think this needs to be said but here I go...
We're not going to any "Million Militia March" or any other fed honeypot event that's being promoted.
You can walk backward through a field of dicks.
We suggest none of you go to these events. We won't sit on our hands for the next four years but we can pick and choose our battles moving forward.
While it seems unlikely that the FBI is actually setting up fake overthrows of various state capitols in hopes of catching some Proud Boys or QAnon devotees — those organizing them seem quite sincere! — these violent extremists should definitely be super careful and not show up to them at all.
In fact, they should assume anything that is not "sitting quietly in their homes and not bothering anyone" is definitely a "fed honeypot" meant to capture them and destroy them. They should not talk to anyone else, either, because probably everyone they talk to is an informant who wants to destroy them. And they definitely shouldn't buy any guns either, because probably someone is tracing their gun purchases in order to frame them for crimes. In fact, they should go totally underground and pretend, for the rest of their whole entire lives, to be normal, functioning members of society who don't do anything violent or hateful ever. That will really show us — and the Feds!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse