Of course, explosives and weapons are being found at far-right rallies across the country.
We really didn’t need the Guardian to tell us this, but the news outlet did obtain documents via the Freedom of Information Act and a transparency organization called Property of the People, that outlines how law enforcement have located arms at these extremist events and view these discoveries as threats to their safety.
A federal document shows that, through 2020 and 2021, explosives, flamethrowers and incendiary devices were found by law enforcement agencies outside political conventions, public buildings and protests.
After the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt, an NYPD intelligence document circulated that defined the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, QAnon adherents and the Oath Keepers as potential risks to officer safety and described them as extremists.
The federal document was produced by the National Explosives Task Force. This body coordinates information shared about explosives incidents between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and other local, state and federal agencies.
Here is more background on the federal document from the Guardian:
Published on 14 January, the document was circulated “in preparation for potential violent activity in connection with upcoming presidential inauguration events”, and “to enhance first responder and bomb technician awareness by highlighting examples” of devices and their tactical employment.
The document offers descriptions and pictures, described as “law enforcement sensitive”, of a range of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which were confiscated from protesters around the country, or found at the scene of attempted and successful bombing attacks.
Included is a picture and description of a “suspected metal pipe bomb with mechanical timer” found outside the Republican National Committee building in Washington on 5 January 2021, the night before rioters entered the Capitol building a few blocks away. The document notes that a “similar device” was found the same night outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters.
The NYPD document, in addition to outlining safety risks to officers, says QAnon is a “broad conspiracy movement with anti-semitic underpinnings that falsely alleges, based on purportedly classified intelligence, that an elite cabal of pedophiles, led by Democrats, is plotting to harm children and undermine President Trump.”
These people scare cops, so imagine the fears they evoke from everyday people who do not carry weapons on their hips or have state protection in case they have to defend themselves against these people.
But the far-right has been violent for years, right? Why hasn’t something been done to control these groups, you might ask. Property of the People’s executive director Ryan Shapiro had this to say: “Intelligence agencies have monitored violent, far-right groups for years, but overwhelmingly the results of those investigations have simply gathered dust,” he said.
He added that, “Intelligence and law enforcement’s long-standing political policing of the left while simultaneously ignoring or even aiding literal fascists was one of the driving forces behind the January 6 attempted coup.”