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Assassination Attempt Against Argentina's VP and Oath Keepers Membership Leak

September 1-7, 2022 | Issue 11 - Team: Behavior/Leadership (B/L)

Jamie Betances, Sofia Staderini, and Seif Harrasy, B/L Team

Marina Campos, Editor; Demetrios Giannakaris, Senior Editor



Cristina Fernández de Kirchner waves at crowds in Argentina[1]

Date: September 3, 2022

Location: Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Parties involved: Argentine Vice President (VP) Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; alleged perpetrator Fernando Andre Sabag Montiel; Argentinian government; Argentinian law enforcement

The event: On September 1, at approximately 2100 local time, Montiel attempted to assassinate VP Fernandez de Kirchner outside her Buenos Aires home, where people gathered to support her. The attempt comes at a time of political and economic turmoil due to Argentina’s increased debt and inflation and VP Fernandez de Kircher’s corruption allegations.[2] A motive has not been identified, but Montiel has several identifiers of interest, including a black sun tattoo common among neo-Nazis, online engagement in satanic communism and masonic forums, and posts condemning welfare programs and liberal politics.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The viral recording of the attack will almost certainly further exacerbate Argentina’s political divide, likely leading to opposing reactions among voters. Fernandez de Kirchner’s opposers will very likely threaten to commit similar attacks against Argentinian officials, while her supporters will almost certainly publicly demonstrate solidarity. Clashes between opposing factions will very likely increase and challenge authorities' ability to control civil unrest. Law enforcement inefficiency will very likely increase public feelings of insecurity, likely worsening Argentina’s political situation.

  • The assassination attempt’s timing will very likely raise questions about the possibility of a false flag attack, likely increasing Fernandez de Kirchner’s public support and diverting attention from her corruption trial. Fernandez de Kirchner will almost certainly remain in office and will likely run for vice president again. This will likely increase Argentinian political polarization, very likely sparking protests, support demonstrations, and violent civilian confrontations. Civil unrest will likely impact Fernandez de Kirchner’s trial verdict and potential appeals.

Date: September 7, 2022

Location: USA

Parties involved: US; US law enforcement officers; Oath Keepers; US elected officials; military members; former US President Donald Trump

The event: More than 38,000 Oath Keepers members’ names were leaked from its database, including over 550 persons who work in law enforcement, are military members, are running for office, or currently serve as elected officials.[4] Ties to the far-right, anti-government militia raise concerns about these public servants, as the House Committee investigated these members for seditious conspiracy in July due to their involvement in the January 6 insurrection and their link to Trump’s inner circle. The leak occurs at a time of nationwide political instability and divide, as Trump is currently being investigated for obstruction of justice and violating the Espionage Act.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The membership disclosure will very likely increase distrust of government officials and law enforcement. Concern over public servants' memberships in far-right organizations will likely bring the integrity and impartiality of their offices into question by the public. This will almost certainly increase demands for the resignation of the military, political, and law enforcement officials with Oath Keepers memberships. Demand for resignations will likely evolve into protests that will likely become violent, and very likely result in arrests, casualties, and threats against government officials.

  • Hundreds of radicalized individuals among law enforcement and the military will almost certainly increase the threat of far-right extremism in the US. Threats from these individuals almost certainly pose a greater risk as they likely have access to privileged information and possess training that very likely facilitates effective attack strategies. Threats and attacks will almost certainly occur during election periods, likely targeting public buildings, government officials, and civilian protests.

 

The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)


[1]Cristina Fernández de Kirchner waves at crowds in Argentina” by Cacen Gymraeg licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

[2] Argentina shaken by assassination attempt on vice president, Reuters, September 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/message-hate-argentines-shaken-by-failed-gun-attack-vp-kirchner-2022-09-02/

[3] Boxes of ammunitions, sex toys found during raid at home of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s attacker, Buenos Aires Times, September 2022, https://batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/boxes-of-ammunitions-sex-toys-found-during-raid-at-home-of-cristina-fernandez-de-kirchners-attacker.phtml

[4] Elected officials, police chiefs on leaked Oath Keepers list, Associated Press, September 2022, https://apnews.com/article/oath-keepers-leaked-membership-rolls-2ca4195ed3a10e45dd189bf98f3e5a26

[5] US Justice Dept appeals freeze on review of seized Trump documents, France 24, September 2022, https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220909-us-justice-dept-appeals-freeze-on-review-of-seized-trump-documents


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