Following his defeat in the US Presidential Election 2020, the incumbent President Donald Trump has falsely claimed mass voter fraud and that the Democratic party has stolen the election from him.
Trump instigated violent riots through his speech that saw his suppoters stomring the US Capitol Hill on 6 Januarary. Hundreds of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and occupied the building for hours, ransacking offices, forcing an evacuation of lawmakers and interrupting their certification of the November presidential election. One woman in the mob was shot to death by police in a corridor of the building. Three other people died of medical emergencies on the Capitol grounds during the tumult.
Of Trump's vehment supporters, three right-wing groups have made headlines for their violent acts. They are: Boogaloo boys, Proud Boys and the QAnon.
The Boogaloo movement, whose adherents are often referred to as boogaloo boys or boogaloo bois, is a loosely organized far-right, anti-government, and extremist political movement in the United States. The movement has also been described as a militia.
Men who identify as Boogaloo Bois/Boys, are known for wearing Hawaiian shirts and wielding rifles at police brutality protests across the US, have been linked to several crimes. With a name based on the title of a cult 1980s film, the group is a loosely organised and largely libertarian militia group that is centered on anti-government rhetoric.
Started on forums and organised in private groups online, often associated with far-right extremist politics, the group created confusion by attending Black Lives Matter protests.
Unsealed documents show a man accused of shooting up a Minneapolis police precinct was associated with the group.
The group that has been planning since November to have armed rallies in Washington DC, as well as state capitols, intends to carry out its events, despite an unprecedented effort to secure the Capitol.
That particular call for armed protesters dates back to a 24 November posting on a website called Tree of Liberty, an online forum for members of the extremist anti-government Boogaloo movement. The online flyer posted that day noted that the "Armed march on Capitol Hill and all state capitols" was planned for 17 January and was intended to be peaceful, but encouraged participants to "come armed at your personal discretion."
In a follow-up posted four days after rioters breached the Capitol — including some who prosecutors now say were intent on harming the Vice-President and other elected officials — the group wrote that its protest was in "pending status given the events that have taken place."
The Proud Boys is a far-right, neo-fascist, and male-only political organisation that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States and Canada. The group originated in the far-right Taki's Magazine in 2016 under the leadership of Vice Media co-founder and former commentator Gavin McInnes, taking its name from the song "Proud of Your Boy" from the 2011 Disney musical Aladdin. Although the Proud Boys emerged as part of the alt-right, McInnes distanced himself from this movement in early 2017, saying the Proud Boys was "alt-light" while the alt-right's focus was race. The re-branding effort intensified following the white supremacist Unite the Right rally. Since early 2019, Enrique Tarrio, an Afro-Cuban American, has been the chairman of the Proud Boys.
The group believes men and Western culture are under siege, their views having elements of the white genocide conspiracy theory. Members have participated in multiple racist events and events centered on anti-antifa, anti-left, and anti-socialist violence; expelled member Jason Kessler organized the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
The Proud Boys glorifies violence, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has called the group an "alt-right fight club". The organisation has been described as a hate group by NPR's The Takeaway and the SPLC.
The ADL has described the Proud Boys as "extremist conservative" and "alt lite", "overtly Islamophobic and misogynistic", "transphobic and anti-immigration", "all too willing to embrace racists, antisemites and bigots of all kinds", and notes the group's promotion and use of violence as a core tactic. The group has been banned from numerous social networks. Government agencies in the United States and Canada have considered labeling the Proud Boys as an extremist or terrorist organisation.
The leader of the far-right Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested last Monday by Washington, DC police and charged in connection with unrest that followed pro-Trump protests in the nation's capital last month.
Metropolitan Police arrested Tarrio, 36 years old, and charged him with destruction of property related to the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner belonging to a historic Black church, a police spokesman said. Police also charged him with possession of what they said were two "high-capacity firearm magazines."
The night of the burning, brawls broke out between some demonstrators supporting President Trump and counter-protesters. Several people, including eight police officers, were hurt, authorities said at the time. Four people were stabbed.
Tarrio's arrest came the same day civil-rights groups filed a lawsuit against Tarrio and Proud Boys International LLC over vandalism they say the group committed at a second historic Black church in Washington.
QAnon is a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US President Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal. US prosecutors have called it "a group commonly referred to as a cult".
QAnon also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the "Storm", when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested. QAnon supporters have accused many liberal Hollywood actors, Democratic politicians, and high-ranking government officials of being members of the cabal. They have also claimed that Trump feigned conspiracy with Russians to enlist Robert Mueller to join him in exposing the sex trafficking ring and preventing a coup d'état by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.
The QAnon conspiracy theories have been amplified by Russian state-backed troll accounts on social media, as well as Russian state-backed traditional media.
Although preceded by similar viral conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate, which has since become part of QAnon, the conspiracy theory began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous imageboard 4chan by "Q", who was presumably an American individual; it is now more likely that "Q" has become a group of people acting under the same name. A stylometric analysis of Q posts claims to have uncovered that at least two people wrote as "Q" in different periods.
Q claimed to be a high-level government official with Q clearance, who has access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States. NBC News reported that three people took the original Q post and spread it across multiple media platforms to build an Internet following for profit. QAnon was preceded by several similar anonymous 4chan posters, such as FBIAnon, HLIAnon (High-Level Insider), CIAAnon, and WH Insider Anon. Although American in origin, there is now a considerable QAnon movement outside of the United States, particularly in Europe.
The QAnon conspiracy theory has been blamed for fueling a riot at the US Capitol on 6 January. Social media companies have begun to crack down on its followers, with Twitter closing 70,000 accounts on Monday.
The group's leader, Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as Jake Angeli, is in custody on charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct. Chansley, who calls himself the QAnon Shaman, is allegedly the man pictured with a painted face, fur hat and horns inside US Congress during the Capitol Hill Riots.