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Security Brief: EXTREMISM Week of May 3, 2021

Week of May 3 | Issue 32


Allegra Berg, Faye Lax, Extremism


The two members of the Boogaloo Bois that have pleaded guilty[1]


Date: May 4, 2021

Location: St. Paul, Minnesota

Parties involved: Michael Solomon, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice, Hamas, Boogaloo Bois

The event: A second member of the “Boogaloo Bois,” Michael Solomon, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to send material support to Hamas. Both he and his co-conspirator Benjamin Ryan Teeter were arrested in September 2020 and Teeter pled guilty back in December 2020.

The implications:

  • The sub-group of the Boogaloo Bois, the Boojahideen, a spin-off of the traditional “mujahideen” - those who are guerilla fighters within Islamic countries - have been attending rallies. Most notably, Solomon and Teeter attended the protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd back in May 2020 and immediately caught the eye of the FBI. Solomon has been charged with “conspiracy to provide material support and resources, namely property, services, and weapons, to what he believed was Hamas.”[2] Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic group that is designated as a terrorist group by the US

  • While there is no known connection between the Boogaloo Bois and Hamas, the attempt and interest by members show a contradiction in what the group claims to stand for. While the Boogaloo Bois are openly against the US government, they resent statements by the “alt-right” media that refer to them as terrorists, claiming that this is untrue. Members attempting to support Hamas raise further questions as to the true intentions of their members both domestically and internationally.

  • By portraying a connection to Hamas, the group is likely to be able to expand its recruitment pool to people with a combination of ideologies. Those who are more sympathetic to Hamas’ ideology may still join the Boogaloo Bois, which may help bolster the group’s numbers if they believe that they are providing efforts to Hamas. The Boogaloo Bois are likely intentionally spinning this connection to garner more support and recruits.

  • On the other hand, if white American males are attracted to Hamas and join the group because they believe they are helping Hamas, then the US may have a more difficult time countering radicalized individuals. Any counter operations or narratives will have to consider both the anti-government sentiment and also the ideology that Hamas stands for.

[1] New Brighton man pleads guilty in ‘Boogaloo Bois’ case that followed George Floyd unrest, Twitter, May 2021, https://twitter.com/PioneerPress/status/1389762338631426052

[2] Second Member Of "Boogaloo Bois" Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Provide Material Support To Hamas, Department of Justice, District if Minnesota, May 2021, https://www.justice.gov/usao-mn/pr/second-member-boogaloo-bois-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-provide-material-support-hamas



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