Federal prosecutors in Las Vegas have charged three men alleged to be members of the far-right extremist "Boogaloo" movement with multiple state and federal violations of conspiracy to cause destruction during protests in Las Vegas, as well as possession of Molotov cocktails.
Charging documents say Stephen T. Parshall, aka "Kiwi," 35; Andrew Lynam, 23; and William L. Loomis, 40, all of Las Vegas, were arrested Saturday on a state criminal complaint alleging conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, material support for committing an act of terrorism and multiple explosives violations. The plot was foiled with help from an informant, authorities said.
The "Boogaloo" movement, which federal prosecutors describe as a "term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or collapse of society," has been linked to some online posts about protests over the death of George Floyd.
NBC News reported last weekend that members of the "Boogaloo" movement were seen at protests in states including Minnesota and Texas, as well as in Philadelphia.
The movement, which says it wants a second civil war organized around the word "boogaloo," includes groups on mainstream internet platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit, as well as fringe websites including 4chan, according to a report released Tuesday night by the Network Contagion Research Institute, an independent nonprofit organization of scientists and engineers that tracks and reports on misinformation and hate speech across social media.
These guys want a race war, and they believe they will win, and be allowed to butcher as many black and brown folk as they please, and that any effort on our part to defend ourselves will be met with lethal military force. They've wanted this for years.They are closer to that terrible goal than they have ever been.
A big part of that reason is Donald Trump, who is now openly declaring protesters to be, in fact, terrorists
President Donald Trump on Thursday shared a letter on Twitter that referred to the peaceful protesters who were forcibly dispersed from a park near the White House on Monday evening as "terrorists."
The letter from veteran attorney and former Trump lawyer John Dowd appears to be addressed to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and rebuts Mattis' Wednesday statement castigating Trump's response to the nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
"The phony protesters near Lafayette were not peaceful and are not real," Dowd's letter claimed, without citing any evidence. "They are terrorists using idle hate filled students to burn and destroy. They were abusing and disrespecting the police when the police were preparing the area for the 1900 curfew."
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment on the description of the protesters as "terrorists."
The President's decision to share the letter and its shocking description of Americans exercising their constitutional rights comes as he continues to lean into his strongman approach to the ongoing demonstrations. On Monday, he declared himself "your President of law and order" as the peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed with gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets, apparently so he could visit a nearby church.
He remained at the boarded-up building, brandishing a Bible for the cameras, for only a matter of minutes before returning to the White House.
The letter drew condemnation from the Modern Military Association of America, a nonprofit organization for the LGBTQ military and veteran community.
"Donald Trump just crossed a very serious line that demands swift and forceful condemnation by every Member of Congress," said the group's interim executive director, Air Force veteran Jennifer Dane. "Promoting a letter that labels American citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights as 'terrorists' is an egregious breach of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Now more than ever, it is absolutely crucial that Trump be held accountable for his reckless actions."
I hate to say that I warned people about this exact situation for years now, but here we are. I desperately hoped that I would be wrong, that the Republicans would drive Trump out, and instead they backed him 100%.
It feels like everything is going to come to a grim conclusion soon, and I fear what history tells us will be coming next.