Joshua Raider is a commanding officer in the United Patriots of Minnesota 3% and one of the few willing to talk about the movement publicly. He said people told him not to do an interview. His brother video-taped the conversation between Raider and the Fox 9 Investigators.
When asked what the group stands for he replied: “Protecting community, gun rights, the 2nd amendment, that kind of stuff. Pretty straight up stuff.”
The name, 3 Percenters, comes from the American Revolution, a belief, long-disputed, that only three percent of the colonists took up arms against England.
The 3 Percenters share ideological DNA with other right wing extremist groups, like the Posse Comitatus, The Oath Keepers, and Sovereign Citizens, and especially the militia and patriot movements.
The group, about 400 members strong, has become social media savvy, spreading their message and sharing pictures on Facebook.
3 Percenters have regular training exercises around the country, like this one in Colorado. They say they’re preparing for natural disasters, a terror attack or if everything goes to hell. One of the participants said there were people from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado taking part in the training.
“I think our country is possibly heading toward civil war,” said Raider.
When asked if the groups are racists he said: “I disagree with the white supremacist movement. I disagree with the black supremacist movement.”
“We do not accept hate mongering in our group,” he added.
According to Raider, their members in Minnesota come from all walks of life, including law enforcement, but he also admits they’ve had a few bad apples.
“I run into nuts here and there who try to join our group. You have to weed them out right off the bat,” he said. “Obviously no one thought to check out Jason Thomas.”
Jason Thomas was the leader of the 3 Percenters in Minnesota, until his home in Red Wing was raided by the FBI earlier this year.
“Simply just to protect civilian population from man-made and natural threats,” he told the Fox 9 Investigators.
When asked if the government is a man-made threat he replied, “Yes, governments have historically killed more of their people than anyone else.”
According to a previously sealed search warrant, the FBI considers the Minnesota 3 Percenters a “militia group which believes in the violent resistance to or intended overthrow of the U.S. Government.”
“I don’t know why they’re targeting us, just the ideology we have,” said Thomas.
The FBI said it was also what Thomas wrote on Facebook: “I can guaranty (sic) you that I’ll be one of the first to start killing feds…. And am actually trying to build up our capacity to challenge them” (March 12, 2016).
When asked if he meant federal agents he replied, “can’t comment on that”.
Just because Obama is no longer president doesn't mean that militia groups have gone away. It just means the FBI and the media isn't watching them as closely.
I guarantee you though that as soon as removing Trump from office becomes a real option, these guys are going to be the first to say that if Trump goes, so do the safeties on their weapons.