U.S. Charges Two Members of the Far-right Boogaloo Bois for Attempting to Support Hamas

Suspects were recorded by a purported Hamas member — who was working for the FBI — promising to act as mercenaries for the group in exchange for cash, the Justice Department said

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An armed individual stands watch at a Black Lives Matter rally in Austin, Texas which members of the Boogaloo Boys and the Texas Guerrillas attended, August 1, 2020.
File photo: An armed individual stands watch at a Black Lives Matter rally in Austin, Texas which members of the Boogaloo Boys and the Texas Guerrillas attended, August 1, 2020. Credit: NURI VALLBONA/ REUTERS

Two members of the Boogaloo Bois, a far-right anti-government movement, were arrested and charged with conspiring and attempting to give material support to Hamas.

Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, were arrested Thursday, according to a Justice Department statement.

According to the Justice Department, the two men were recorded by a purported Hamas member promising to act as mercenaries for the group in exchange for cash. They later gave weapons to the purported Hamas member, who was secretly working with the FBI. The men thought they were working with the purported Hamas member to help overthrow the U.S. government.

“This case can only be understood as a disturbing example of the old adage, ‘The enemy of your enemy is your friend,'” said John Demers, the assistant attorney general for the department’s National Security Division. “As alleged in the complaint, these defendants sought to use violence against the police, other government officials and government property as part of their desire to overthrow the government.”

According to the department, Solomon and Teeter are members of the Boogaloo Bois, a loose network of anti-government extremists seeking to attack the police and other public institutions.

Boogaloo adherents believe a new civil war is looming and are often heavily armed. Some ally with right-wing militias and have sought to capitalize on the protests by instigating violence they hope will escalate into a broader conflict.

The two men are also members of a subgroup of the movement called the “Boojahideen,” a play on the Arabic word “mujahideen,” which means jihadists. According to the statement, a witness saw Solomon openly carrying firearms in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd in May.

The U.S. State Department has designated Hamas a foreign terrorist organization.

In June, Facebook removed more than 500 Facebook accounts and more than 300 Instagram accounts belonging to the so-called Boogaloo movement and other far-right groups. 

The social networking company came under heightened scrutiny as provocateurs used Facebook and Instagram to coordinate and recruit. It has also acted to make it harder to find groups in the Boogaloo movement.

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