Believers of the far-right QAnon and Pizzagate theories are a potential domestic terrorist threat, a newly leaked FBI memo claims.
As Yahoo News reported, an FBI document points to both fringe theories as creating potential threats among those believers. Both theories largely take aim at Democrats, claiming in sometimes vague and other times specific terms that they are engaged in Satanic rituals, child sex trafficking, and treason against President Donald Trump. Users of each have sometimes used violent rhetoric online and posted personal information about alleged targets, leading Reddit to shutter communities devoted to both theories.
In the leaked memo, the FBI said that these theories could lead some hardcore believers to carry out larger acts of violence.
“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” said the document, which was dated May 30.
The QAnon theory has arisen since Trump’s election, with an alleged group of shadowy government insiders sharing cryptic revelations on the image-sharing board 8chan claiming that Donald Trump is secretly investigating and taking down the forces of the so-called “Deep State.” The QAnon figure has claimed at times that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had been taken into custody and that Trump was secretly working with special counsel Robert Mueller to take down Democrats.
The theory also alleged that Trump was also secretly working with John F. Kennedy Jr. — who QAnon claimed would present himself along with Trump at the president’s Fourth of July speech and reveal that he faked his 1999 death. As the predictions came to pass without coming true, the QAnon figure added new predictions.
Yahoo News reports that the FBI describes “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists,” as a growing threathttps://t.co/ZXC4tDfmma
— Jared Holt (@jaredlholt) August 1, 2019
The Pizzagate theory arose in the days before the 2016 election, claiming that a group of top Democrats was operating a child sex trafficking ring out of the basement of a popular Washington, D.C., pizzeria. The theory arose from emails leaked from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, and included theories that Clinton and Obama were also involved in child sex trafficking.
There have already been a number of violent acts carried out by believers of both theories. In the weeks after the Pizzagate theory spread in far-right corners of the internet, a gunman entered the pizzeria in an attempt to “investigate” and fired a rifle. As The Hill noted, another man charged with killing an alleged boss of the Gambino Mafia family was inspired by the QAnon theory, the man’s attorney claimed.