Because the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, scientists have found out that a lot of of the folks charged for their alleged involvement in the attack had prior connections to extremist groups or movements. Here’s how customers or subscribers to the Proud Boys, the QAnon conspiracy principle and the Oath Keepers connected to one particular a different ahead of Jan. 6, 2021.
Due to the fact the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, some Republicans have framed the rioters as worried Us residents who just went a tiny overboard in their protection of former President Donald Trump. But researchers are finding that numerous of the persons charged for their alleged involvement in the attack have a link to an extremist group or movement. In actuality, these companies, which do not generally band alongside one another, coordinated beforehand, helping the assault come to be so major and damaging.
Michael Jensen, a senior researcher who scientific tests terrorism at the College of Maryland, combed via courtroom files, news studies and social media posts to identify every individual billed in relation to the Jan. 6 assault who experienced preexisting ties to extremist groups. He observed that roughly a third of the virtually 900 people today charged experienced some variety of relationship to extremist ideology, including far-ideal groups like the Proud Boys and the QAnon conspiracy concept.
Jensen also found that quite a few of these folks had been related to a single a different prior to January 6. They experienced been to rallies together, or were being in the same chat teams, or interacted on social media. Of the persons with ties to extremist teams who have been billed, approximately one particular in five had a preexisting relationship to one more defendant. Acquire, for illustration, Enrique Tarrio and Stewart Rhodes. At the time of the attack, Tarrio was the leader of the Very pleased Boys and Rhodes was the leader of the Oath Keepers, a further considerably-proper group. When we glimpse at the connections concerning other defendants and extremist groups, Tarrio and Rhodes are basically in the middle. They are just one or two levels away from dozens of other folks charged and a few-quarters of the identified extremist businesses existing on that day. The Happy Boys and the Oath Keepers the two experienced a substantial existence on the day of the attack, and have been accused of coordinating beforehand.
What this data shows is a tangled web of connections in between people from different extremist groups. This is not normal. Normally, these far-suitable groups tend to maintain to them selves — they really don’t get together on the weekend to go bowling. But this information demonstrates how certain ideologies — like perception in the bogus assert that the 2020 election was stolen — can bind extremist teams jointly. And as we saw on Jan. 6, that type of unifying ideology can be a effective and destructive drive.