2 'Boogaloo Bois' arrested for plotting with Hamas to bomb courthouse and kill senators, White supremacists
The two suspects planned to become 'mercenaries' of the Middle East extremist organization, it has been alleged
The anti-government ‘Boogaloo’ movement has made the headlines again as two of its self-proclaimed supporters have been arrested on charges of trying to supply material support to extremist group Hamas to allegedly bomb a county courthouse targeting White supremacists and as many as 20 US senators. The duo, Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, were arrested on Thursday, September 3, in Minnesota over the federal charges. They made their first court appearance in Minneapolis the next day when they were asked to remain in custody till the detention hearing pending next week. If convicted, they face up to two decades in federal prison.
In June, three former servicemen and self-described supporters of the ‘Boogaloo’ movement were arrested on charges of domestic terrorism and accused of carrying illegal firearms to add fuel to the violence during protests against police brutality.
‘Enemy of your enemy is your friend’
Addressing the arrests, Assistant Attorney General John C Demers for the National Security Division said in a statement: “This case can only be understood as a disturbing example of the old adage, ‘The enemy of your enemy is your friend’.”
“Thinking that they shared the same desire to harm the United States, they sought to join forces and provide support, including in the form of weapons accessories, to Hamas,” he said. Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist group which is a federally designated foreign terrorist group.
The relation between the Donald Trump administration and Palestine has deteriorated as the former has openly sided with Israel, the Palestinians’ No. 1 foe in the Middle East. In January, Hamas rejected Trump’s peace proposal calling it a conspiracy of the US and Israel. It also threatened that “all options are open” in responding to the US administration’s plan to resolve the Palestine-Israel conflict.
The two suspects allegedly expressed their plan to become “mercenaries” for Hamas as a means to raise funds to get a training compound for the group, USA Today reported citing court documents. They also allegedly discussed the matter with an FBI informant, who they believed to be a member of Hamas, in June, as per the prosecutors.
They said Solomon and Teeter conspired to make illegal silencers and gave them to the undercover agent. As per the indictment, Teeter traveled to Minnesota from his home in North Carolina’s Hampstead in late May to support the protests against police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody. “Lock and load boys. Boog flags are in the air, and the national network is going off,” he wrote on Facebook days after Floyd’s death on May 25. Last month, in a recorded conversation with the FBI informant, Solomon and Teeter discussed shooting of 20 senators, the indictment said.
Teeter teamed up with Solomon in Minnesota. The latter is a resident of the Minnesota suburb of New Brighton, the prosecutors said. In May, Daily Mail interviewed an unnamed associate of Solomon after he and Solomon were seen guarding a tobacco store in Minneapolis with AR-15-style weapons.
What is the ‘Boogaloo’ movement?
The ‘Boogaloo’ movement is a loosely-held network of anti-government extremists who favor a violent overthrow of the American government. The far-right movement is also called a ‘militia’ and the term ‘boogaloo’ alludes to the 1984 cult film ‘Breakin’ 2” Electric Boogaloo’, the sequel to ‘Breakin’ that was also released the same year. Those adhering to the movement are called ‘Boogaloo boys’ or ‘Boogaloo bois’. The group believes in an impending civil war which they call ‘Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo’, making it in lines of the 1980s sequel.
The ‘Boogaloo’ activists are often seen heavily armed and sporting Hawaiian shirts, a reference to ‘Big Luau’ which is a code-word they adopted after Facebook banned groups that are related to the Boogaloo movement. Though the ‘Boogaloo’ activists’ ideology cannot be always categorized under conventional political terms, they can still be called extreme libertarian. Moreover, even if they are known to be White supremacists, there are also ‘Boogaloo’ supporters who are violent opponents of racism.