“Clandestine,” the man behind the viral biolab conspiracy theory, has been identified as Jacob Creech, a self-described former restaurant manager and Army National Guard veteran living in rural Virginia. The discovery highlights how a fringe QAnon figure, harnessing the power of social media, sparked a viral conspiracy theory that – in just a few weeks – made its way from QAnon to the world stage, amplified by Tucker Carlson, white supremacists Nick Fuentes and Vincent James, members of the Proud Boys, and Steve Bannon – and even the Kremlin.
On February 24, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine got underway, Creech, tweeting from his now-suspended @WarClandestine account, posted a thread claiming that Russian airstrikes were targeting “U.S. biolabs” in Ukraine.
“China and Russia indirectly (and correctly) blamed the US for the C19 [Covid-19] outbreak,” Creech tweeted. “And [they] are fearful that the US/allies have more viruses (bioweapons) to let out.” The invasion, he posited, was a smokescreen for Russia to destroy U.S. biolabs in Ukraine, thus preventing another global pandemic.