They have long looked forward to bloody battles with the government and the left – heavily armed men feel their chance in the US election. That’s just right for President Trump.
In May, Paul Bellar is still sitting on his couch. Together with his girlfriend Cheyenne, he willingly shows his guns. A portrait outside the house in Milford, Michigan, one with a sword in the living room, one with an assault rifle at the ready, one with a gun; the photographer of the Swedish “Expressen” sticks to it, the video camera is also running. Bellar is happy to answer questions from the newspaper’s American correspondent: he is the trainer of a militia training for the Civil War.
Armed men stormed parliament
He does not reveal a secret that he and his brothers-in-arms have tried very hard to preserve. They write messages to themselves on encrypted platforms. The photos of the heavily armed men in the camouflage patch who recently besieged Michigan’s state parliament building and terrified MPs to death, but are already going around the world right now.
Armed militia in the Michigan Parliament Building: Brothers Michal John Null (3rd from left) and William Grant Null (4th from left) are said to have been involved in the kidnapping plan. You are in custody. (Source: Seth Herald / Reuters)
Reportedly, the men want to defend their freedom against the government, which imposes corona-protective measures on them. In fact, they are concerned with much more than that. A few months later, in October, Bellar and twelve other men of the so-called “Wolverine Watchmen” are arrested. They are charged with attempted kidnapping. Her victim: Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Your supposed motive: a signal effect for the whole country to start a civil war.
“They were the kind of neighbors you’d better stay out of,” a resident of a remote hangout told the Daily Beast news site. Several neighbors, including a former soldier, are reporting ongoing target practice, even with large calibres, on the property. “Bullets flew in all directions.” Videos of the exercises will be made public later.
Militias and armed groups like Michigan are becoming a symbol of an American democracy that seems to be on the verge of collapse. All over the country they are jumping ahead for the US elections, sometimes calling themselves “Boogaloo Bois”, sometimes “Proud Boys”, sometimes “Patriot Prayer”. Some hate the central government and want to fight against it with all their might, others see President Trump as their closest ally, some are explicitly racist, others are not. Most of them have in common only their hatred of their political opponents: the enemy is on the left. Just like for President Trump.
Authorities warn of attacks
This is of growing concern even to US security authorities. After the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, they always identified their main enemy as Islamist extremism. They now see the greatest terrorist threat at home in the racist groups, the anti-government soldiers and radicalized individual perpetrators. Before, during and after the American elections, they fear attacks and violence.
“It’s an unprecedented witch brew in US history,” former CIA agent Jared Maples, who now heads US Homeland Security’s regional office in New Jersey, told Reuters. In September, his department in an unusual way warned the central authority about terrorist attacks in connection with the US election.
“An unprecedented witch’s brew”: that’s what a security official called the situation ahead of the US election. His authority warns against violence. (Source: Chris Juhn / Image Images)
The recipe for the “witch’s brew”: deep political divisions in the country, growing tendency to violence, a pandemic, riots over police brutality, widespread right-wing conspiracy ideologies such as the QAnon myth, and covert influence from state actors such as Russia. “If there was such a thing, it would have been decades, possibly centuries,” Maples says.
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The document describes three scenarios that predict one thing above all: the longer the election results, the more likely and extensive the attacks will be. A US election in anticipation of politically uncertain times – that is precisely the chance that violent groups and radicalized individual perpetrators are waiting to deepen the split and bring their own ideologies into the protests that are expected anyway. The FBI comes to the same conclusion.
Incidents have already increased in recent months:
- In March, authorities prevented a bomb attack on a hospital in the state of Missouri. At the time, a neo-Nazi was apparently convinced that the lockdown was pursuing the plan of a secret Jewish elite, as reported by Chillreport.
- In May, investigators arrested a suspected gunman. He probably planned to shoot Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. He had already discovered his home address in Delaware and was given assault rifles.
- Moments later, so-called “Boogaloo Bois” shot security forces and police officers in Oakland and Santa Cruz. They wanted to link the attacks “Black Lives Matter” activists.
- in August A 17-year-old self-proclaimed public order protector shot two people with an assault rifle at “Black Lives Matter” protests in Kenosha.
- In September, “Boogaloo Bois” was again exposed who had attempted to form an alliance with Hamas. A case that astonished even the investigating FBI.
- In October, Michigan authorities were finally defeated the kidnapping of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“The combination of armed militias, polling stations and armed law enforcement is a potential powder keg,” said extremism expert Jason Blazakis. For ten years he was responsible for counterterrorism measures at the US State Department, today he analyzes threats against the “Soufan Center,” founded by a former FBI agent. While he doesn’t expect civil war to break out, there will be local violence, Blazakis said. “Armed right-wing militia officers who call themselves election observers are thought to be involved in an unscheduled incident at a polling station – that is the most likely scenario.”
Blazakis and his colleagues from the “Soufan Center” are currently in high demand among interviewees. Because founder Ali Soufan once targeted Islamist jihadists as an FBI investigator. In February, however, he warned in the “New York Times” that racist groups would be the greatest terror threat in the US in the future. For example the Atomwaffen Division also active in Germany can rely on an international network.
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In the meantime, even the Homeland Security Department, which was politically taken over by the Trump administration, can no longer disguise this threat development. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf admitted in his agency’s official situation report a few weeks ago that he was “particularly concerned” about domestic terrorist threats from racist extremists. This is notable because Wolf is considered an absolute Trump loyalist who, because of the “Black Lives Matter” protests, sent barely identifiable units to the states – and who could now fall out of favor with his assessment of right-wing terrorist groups.
Because Trump himself has not only downplayed the right-wing threat many times over. He also fires the groups with public statements and shows sympathy.
“Get ready”: Donald Trump’s statement in the first television game against Joe Biden caused a stir. (Source: Chillreport)
Trump’s position reinforces fears among his political opponents and security experts that the president will use self-encouraged violence to influence the election. He does not want to publicly guarantee to recognize the result and to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.
Is Trump Profiting From The Violence?
Trump has been raising doubts about the election results for months and spreading lies about alleged voting fraud by mail, seeks to make elections more difficult for Democratic voters through administrative measures and calls on its supporters to do so-called “election observation”. His team calls it “Army for Trump”. A TV presenter announced a few days ago how this army, which is said to consist of 50,000 volunteers, can even look unarmed.
Over the weekend, a truck convoy of Trump fans apparently tried Pushing vehicles of the Biden campaign off the highway. To prevent even worse attempts at intimidation, the US state of Michigan has already tried to ban weapons in polling stations after the experience with the militias. Concerns are also growing in Minnesota about an alleged security firm recruiting former military personnel to “protect” polling stations. But the Republicans’ strategy could work.
Unrest and deaths expected
Many observers believe it is possible Trump could declare himself a winner on election night before the votes are even counted. And that Biden supporters take to the streets and the protests lead to unrest, which in turn is fueled by right-wing militias. Supported by the current president.
“I would be surprised if there is no violence”, says the famous American historian Timothy Snyder in an interview with Chillreport. “Trump will make statements that could motivate some of his most radical supporters to act violently. Ultimately, he will hope the Supreme Court will help him to a second term.”
Because the longer the election results are pending, the more the situation escalates, the sooner Trump will be able to push for an accelerated resolution to the situation – possibly with a decision of the Supreme Courtwhich he and the Republicans recently cast in their favor.
The situation report of the Ministry of Homeland Security described above is based on this. It speaks of “fatal clashes” and “civil unrest,” from attacks on police officers and judicial officials until 2021. “Racially motivated extremists are being encouraged to carry out more attacks, while claiming that a collapse in society is the creation of a racist society. means pure ethno-state, ”the document said.
Paul Bellar and his “Wolverine Watchmen” in Michigan couldn’t be the last right-wing terrorists to make a name for themselves in the course of the US election.