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Friday, March 31, 2023

‘Boogaloo Bois’ Allegedly Tried to Make Arms Deal with Hamas to Fund ‘Boojahideen’ Training Camp

Two professed members of the extremist Boogaloo Bois who claimed membership in a sub-group called the “Boojahideen” allegedly offered themselves as mercenaries to Hamas and delivered gun accessories to an undercover FBI employee they believed was a senior member of the terror group.

Michael Robert Solomon, 30, of New Brighton, Minn., and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, of Hampstead, N.C., were arrested Thursday evening and appeared today in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. Assistant Attorney General John C Demers called it a case of “the enemy of your enemy is your friend,” as the Boogaloo pair allegedly said they shared anti-government views with Hamas and thought they could raise money for a Boogaloo training compound and other purchases through a business relationship with the Palestinian group, which has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States since 1997.

The FBI became aware of the pair when they were witnessed possessing firearms and “substantial quantities of ammunition” in Twin Cities protests following the May death of George Floyd. Boogaloo Bois promote armed uprising to accelerate civil upheaval and government overthrow; the criminal complaint says Teeter posted on Facebook on May 26, ”Lock and load boys. Boog flags are in the air, and the national network is going off.”

The witness, who welcomed the defendants as houseguests during the protests, said they discussed committing violent acts “in furtherance of the Boojahideen’s stated goal of overthrowing the government and replacing its police forces,” the complaint says, adding that the pair “discussed attacking a National Guard Armory to steal weapons and ‘bombs’ for the Boojahideen.”

Solomon reportedly said in an early June gathering recorded by an FBI source, “If we get to the point where we engage the police… I’m not going to stop …I’m going to take out whoever initiated the violence, and then I’m going to hang out in the area, you know, move and set up in a better location that’s as close to the area as I can, and then I’m going to take out the next thing that shows up. And I’m going to keep going until I’m not taking out people anymore. Like if I get into a firefight, I’m getting into a firefight until I can’t fight anymore. If I run out of ammo, I’ll go to court.”

Solomon posted on his Facebook account an image included in the criminal complaint showing a masked armed person with the words “I want you to join the United States Boojahideen.” The Latin caption translated to, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

The pair allegedly thought the FBI source was a member of Hamas and they discussed some kind of attack to make a statement, such as blowing up a structure or monument in a “controlled way” or at night to not injure bystanders. They settled on a “specific historical courthouse in northern Minnesota” not named in the document.

Solomon allegedly explained to the source how he and Teeter could be of value to Hamas: “To you and your friends, we’ve got to be pretty valuable because two American-born white boys, right? We can move around like nothing. I can take anything anywhere.”

In discussing future targets, the criminal complaint quotes Solomon saying, “As soon as we, you know, mark the politicians that we want to. I’d be fine with going after the media after that. I’m not necessarily talking about the journalists on the street. Yeah, they lie. I’m more talking, I just want to take out the top 20% people at each company.”

The source later introduced the pair to an undercover FBI employee who also pretended to be Hamas. Here, Solomon again allegedly explained their value to Hamas: “I’m also a redneck, nobody notices a redneck. But basically like we’ve, we’ve got the ideas, we’ve got you know, what we wanna do, we’ve got training and we’ve got knowledge.” At this meeting, Teeter allegedly said he could produce “unmarked and untraceable AR-15s” for Hamas, and said they had “Boog Boys across the country who we could use as a network to move it around … it’s definitely something we’d be capable of.”

On July 30, the pair delivered five suppressors they had manufactured for Hamas to the FBI employee. Two weeks later, they allegedly told the FBI source that they wanted to execute a larger plot than the courthouse bombing. “I want to like take down twenty senators while they’re playing fucking baseball, right?” Solomon allegedly said in the recorded conversation. Teeter allegedly added, “I mean, people have definitely shot some before. If anyone can get a shot off at them means we could easily take out the rest of them.”

The criminal complaint says they soon agreed to make more suppressors for Hamas, and delivered to their supposed Hamas business partners a “drop in auto sear” to convert a weapon to an automatic. Teeter allegedly said in regard to the manufacturer of the parts used to make the suppressors, “If they knew what we were doing with them they’d report us to the FBI.”

Solomon and Teeter are both charged with one count of conspiring to provide and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The accused gunman in the slaying of a Federal Protective Service officer in Oakland in June is linked to the Boogaloo and was an active-duty staff sergeant stationed at Travis Air Force Base. Authorities said Steven Carrillo wrote “BOOG” and other phrases in his blood on the hood of a vehicle he later carjacked.

The driver on the night of the shooting, Robert Alvin Justus, Jr., reportedly told agents that he met Carrillo on Facebook and that Carrillo “expressed an interest multiple times in shooting a helicopter, police officers, and civilians” in the course of their trip to Oakland.

“From militia groups to white supremacists, extremists on a range of online platforms talk about—and sometimes even anticipate—the ‘boogaloo.’ The rise of ‘boogaloo,’ and its casual acceptance of future mass violence, is disturbing,” says the ADL’s Center on Extremism, explaining that the movement spread from “angry gun-rights activists to the militia movement and survivalists… to other movements with anti-government beliefs, primarily minarchists and anarcho-capitalists, which are essentially conservative alternatives to anarchism, as well as a few apparent anarchists.”

“Whereas the militia movement, radical gun rights activists typically promote the boogaloo as a war against the government or liberals, white supremacists conceive of the boogaloo as a race war or a white revolution. Some promote boogaloo-related phrases alongside hashtags such as #dotr or #DayOfTheRope, both of which are references to neo-Nazi William Pierce’s The Turner Diaries, a novelized blueprint for a white revolution.”

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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