“A 22-year-old self-proclaimed member of the “Boogaloo Bois” movement pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to sell weapon parts to Hamas after traveling to Minneapolis amid this summer’s George Floyd protests.”
What’s curious is that for these Boogaloo Bois, while domestic terrorism remained the goal, the path had that Iran-Contra financing flair. Selling silencer/suppressors to foreign entities, albeit a sting operation, was only part of the crime, but the one most easy to prosecute, darn those sedition laws, as they freely shared their plans with the feds.
Somehow they didn’t work out that their “anti-government” ideology-sharing would be likely more complicated, making them easy pickings for undercover government agents and informants from the same government agencies they’d like to eradicate.
And this is apparently all it takes to talk a Boogaloo Boi into believing you work for a foreign terrorist organization.
In June, the FBI began receiving information about Teeter, Solomon and other Boogaloo Bois from a confidential source that the Bois believed to be a member of the terrorist organization Hamas. The source, a paid informant, had a Middle Eastern accent.
Their main fetish is gun violence rather than shooting sports and unfortunately some members of law enforcement think of them as kindred spirits in an imaginary war against something, something as indistinct as enemies in digital gaming and influenced by hate-media institutions.
Had they decided to follow a more corporate path, international arms-dealing might have been perhaps more legal for controlled firearms accessories. In this case it’s about selling materiel to designated foreign terror organizations.
In the end this group of “Boojahideen” was another criminal enterprise with slightly more, yet incidental political aims like so many supremacist groups. Kyle Rittenhouse was attracted to a similar group in Kenosha that has disclaimed connection to him. Rittenhouse seemed more attracted to some media-driven fantasy about having a firearm to instrumentalize adolescent power.
…they believed they shared the same “anti-U.S. government views” as Hamas did and wanted to work as “mercenaries” for the Islamist group to fund the activities of the Boogaloo Bois and the Boojahideen, a splinter group of the radical far-right group. Teeter faces up to 20 years behind bars for attempting to aid Hamas.
A 22-year-old self-proclaimed member of the “Boogaloo Bois” movement pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to sell weapon parts to Hamas after traveling to Minneapolis amid this summer’s George Floyd protests. Benjamin Ryan Teeter testified via video link that he and a fellow Boogaloo Bois member met repeatedly with two men they believed were representatives for Hamas, the Star Tribune reports. Teeter said he and Michael Robert Solomon, who is also charged in the case, were trying to negotiate a deal to sell the purported Hamas representatives weapons parts. Although the Hamas figures turned out to be an undercover FBI agent and an informant, Teeter told U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis that he genuinely believed the supplies were intended for the terrorist group.
According to court documents, Teeter, of North Carolina, is part of a group called “Boojahideen,” a subgroup of the Boogaloo Bois. Around the time of the riots, he and Solomon “discussed committing acts of violence against police officers and other targets in furtherance of the Boojahideen's stated goal of overthrowing the government and replacing its police forces,” a witness told the FBI. They talked about destroying government monuments, raiding the headquarters of a white supremacist organization in North Carolina and targeting politicians and members of the media, according to court documents.
In recorded conversations, Teeter and Solomon told undercover government sources they wanted to become mercenaries for Hamas to generate cash for the Boogaloo movement, and that they shared anti-U.S. government views, according to court documents. They met several times with undercover employees for the FBI, and in July they purchased a large drill press to make the suppressors. Teeter and Solomon delivered five suppressors to undercover sources on July 30 and agreed to make more, which they believed “would be used against Israeli and United States military personnel overseas,” according to court documents.
Social media companies have taken steps to limit boogaloo content and groups on their platforms. However, Squire observed in mid-June 2020 that despite Facebook's policy and enforcement changes to remove and demote boogaloo-related content, membership among boogaloo groups on the platform as well as on Discord and Reddit had remained steady or increased.
Like many other novel extremist movements, the loose network of pro-gun shitposters trace their origins to 4chan. What coherence the movement has comes from their reverence for their newly-minted martyrs and a constellation of in-jokes and memes
Above all, though, the movement has gained momentum over the last two years by organising on the world’s most popular social network. At the time of writing, that network’s parent company had added just over $150 billion to its market cap since Boogaloo-friendly anti-lockdown protests began organizing there in mid April. The valuation of the company at $662.8 billion on May 26th beat out it’s previous high of $620.8 billion, set on the same day, January 20th, that the Boogaloo movement made its high profile public debut at Second Amendment protests in Virginia.
For now, Facebook chooses to allow the Boogaloo movement to flourish on their platform.
Open source materials suggest that, for now, the apocalyptic, anti-government politics of the “Boogaloo Bois” are not monolithically racist/neo-Nazi. As we have observed, some members rail against police shootings of African Americans, and praise black nationalist self defense groups.
But the materials also demonstrate that however irony-drenched it may appear to be, this is a movement actively preparing for armed confrontation with law enforcement, and anyone else who would restrict their expansive understanding of the right to bear arms. In a divided, destabilized post-coronavirus landscape, they could well contribute to widespread violence in the streets of American cities.
As boogaloo imagery has evolved, explicitly fascist imagery and ideas have made further inroads. This kind of signaling is often missed by the mainstream media.
From what we can tell, /k/ appears to be the most influential force in shaping the culture of the boogaloo movement, both on Facebook and in open carry protests.
Facebook has been extremely permissive of Boogaloo groups, on the whole. But these and other related militia groups are occasionally given short-term or permanent bans. Small-time Internet entrepreneurs have proven very eager to capitalize on the crumbs left by Zuckerberg’s network.
Boogaloo bois regularly compare Duncan Lemp with black Americans who were shot dead by police officers. In fact, a growing subset of Boogaloo believers see men like Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner as fundamentally the same sort of victims as Duncan Lemp, Vicki and Samuel Weaver (who died at Ruby Ridge), and LaVoy Finicum (who was shot dead by Oregon State Police during the 2016 Malheur stand-off). This meme is commonly shared…
If there is a single common thread that unites the galaxy of Boogaloo Facebook groups, it is a desire to fight it out with the government. More specifically, members envision violent confrontations with local police and the “alphabet bois” in federal law enforcement agencies.
Speaking of silencer-fantasies, Donald Trump Jr has been reported to have a financial stake in the nation’s largest maker of suppressors. And trying to make suppressors more ubiquitous because of hearing “safety” stretches the con.
The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. showed his support for silencers (and fired one) in a 2016 video for SilencerCo, the country’s largest manufacturer of the firearms attachments.
- In 2015, Americans purchased between 100,000 and 200,000 of the attachments.
- Suppressors have been used since the early 1900s as a means of hearing protection for the user, typically hunters and enthusiasts.
Silencers aren’t so silent. Advocates say silencers aren’t as quiet as Hollywood makes them out to be. A 2015 experiment conducted by CNN, in which a Salvo 12 shotgun was fired with and without a suppressor, resulted in a 30-decibel reduction in sound with the attachment in use. Even so, the suppressed gunfire clocked in at 132 decibels, a level the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association describes as “painful.”
Gideon Resnick and Andrew Desiderio of The Daily Beast also cite the video in a post headlined “How Donald Trump Jr. Helped Push the Now Highly Controversial Gun Silencer Bill.”
As The Daily Beast's Resnick and Desiderio report, SilencerCo CEO Josh Waldon and his wife Audrey “contributed a combined $50,000 to the Trump Victory fund, and each gave $2,700 to Trump's campaign directly.”
The Trump administration had lifted a ban on the sale of silencers to overseas buyers that was placed to protect U.S. troops. The move was backed by a lawyer who spent two years trying to change the rule before joining the Trump administration and continued to work to overturn the prohibition within the White House.
For many everyday gun owners, they’re little more than a tool that limits the sound of gunfire, making shooting easier on the ears. At least that’s the argument put forward by one prominent gun enthusiast — Donald Trump Jr., the son of President-elect Donald Trump.
As it stands now, silencers are currently legal in 42 states, but they’re strictly regulated by the Federal government. In order to purchase a silencer, an average law-abiding citizen must undergo a nine-month approval process in addition to paying a hefty tax of $200, notes The Washington Post.
In spite of the paperwork and fees, silencers remain popular. In 2010 there were 285,087 registered silencers in the United States, as of last year, that number had grown to 902,085.