All of the political and social conditions that motivated them to plan what they themselves described as a terrorist attack remain. Though they understood that they would be viewed as domestic terrorists, they hoped that their violent acts might start a movement to overthrow the government. — a prosecutor
All of the political and social conditions that motivated them to plan what they themselves described as a terrorist attack remain. Though they understood that they would be viewed as domestic terrorists, they hoped that their violent acts might start a movement to overthrow the government. — a prosecutor
Ad hoc extremist groups come into focus in post-January 6 criminal charges
When officers arrested Robert Morss of Pennsylvania on charges related to the January 6 Capitol riot, they found in his car a notebook with a page titled, "Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia."

Beneath it Morss allegedly scribbled bullet point reminders, fleshing out the idea of forming a violent cell -- "bring assault rifle" and "set up your kit" -- and notes on "formation."

In the Morss case and others, the Justice Department repeatedly has documented the emergence of what could be called small, right-wing extremist groups.

... "All of the political and social conditions that motivated them to plan what they themselves described as a terrorist attack remain," a prosecutor wrote in a court filing last week. "Though they understood that they would be viewed as domestic terrorists, they hoped that their violent acts might start a movement to overthrow the government."

... The cases involving these ad hoc groups include neighbors, online acquaintances, road-trippers, even a "Bible study" that also discussed secession and combat training after January 6, according to court records. Many spoke or wrote about wanting to fight, and, according to investigators, assembled arsenals.


The defendants at times crossed paths with named, known organizations such as the Three Percenters, but they stand apart from the cases against members of more established, structured groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, which are being prosecuted in several major conspiracy cases in the Capitol riot investigation.

The totality of the January 6 cases "aren't necessarily a barometer of what the far right really is," said Jon Lewis, who researches anti-government movements at George Washington University's Program on Extremism. But this group of cases -- identifying freelance individuals meeting others and interested in acting like militias -- is zeroing in on the far right's version of terrorist cells, Lewis said.

"There is the potential to go from flash to bang very quickly. If it's two or three folks who share that same kind of extreme ideology, it's much easier in that small leaderless cell," Lewis said.
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/21/politics/extremist-groups-violence-post-january-6-criminal-charges/index.html