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FBI Has a New Worry About QAnon

Intelligence report says some members may become violent in the real world
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2021 6:26 AM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2021 6:44 AM CDT
FBI Issues New Warning About QAnon
In this Jan. 6 photo, supporters of President Trump, including Jacob Chansley, right with fur hat, are confronted by Capitol Police. Chansley was known as the QAnon Shaman.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Some of the bedrock conspiracy theories of QAnon failed to materialize because of the defeat of former President Trump. And while that's causing some members of the group to pack it in, others might go in the opposite direction and turn their online threats into actual violence, the FBI warns in a new intelligence report. Here's the key line in the agency's assessment, newly released by Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico:

  • "We assess that some [domestic violent extremists] adherents of QAnon likely will begin to believe they can no longer 'trust the plan' referenced in QAnon posts and that they have an obligation to change from serving as 'digital soldiers' towards engaging in real world violence—including harming perceived members of the 'cabal' such as Democrats and other political opposition."

Some of the rioters who stormed the Capitol in January embraced QAnon beliefs, including that Trump was leading a worldwide fight against a child sex-trafficking ring run by worshipers of Satan, per CNN. The FBI says a number of factors will help QAnon endure, including social media companies allowing the posting of fringe theories online. But the report also cites the “frequency and content of pro-QAnon statements by public individuals who feature prominently in core QAnon narratives.” The assessment didn't name names, but the AP sees this as a reference to Trump, who continues to push the idea that the election was stolen and is reportedly supporting the prospect of somehow being reinstated in office. (Could this be the mysterious "Q," founder of QAnon?)

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