The FBI said this month that QAnon supporters could turn to violence, as some of the biggest predictions of the conspiracy theory, including that Democrats would be subject to mass arrest and detention, had not taken place.
The conspiracy theory holds that a corrupt cabal of global elites and career government workers who run a satanic, sexually abusive sexual activity on children will soon be put together and punished for their misdeeds; and that former President Donald J. Trump will be restored to the presidency.
QAnon has grown online, with believers looking at message boards for new information and guidelines from Q, an anonymous figure who makes predictions and tells fans to ‘trust the plan’.
But the arrests did not take place and Mr. Trump did not return to the White House as predicted this spring, sowing doubt among some believers whose once decentralized community is now a large, real, and global movement.
The FBI said in a June 4 threat assessment that because people increasingly believe that they can no longer ‘trust the plan’, they may be forced to ‘move towards violence in the real world’ – including harming alleged members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition – instead of constantly waiting for Q’s promised action that did not take place. ”
It is said that other QAnon fans may withdraw from the movement or reduce their involvement now that several long-promised QAnon predictions are not coming true. And it is said that big tech companies have also helped people switch off the movement after they started removing QAnon content.
The FBI described detailed cases when QAnon believers turned violent, noting that they had arrested more than 20 self-identified QAnon supporters who took part in the January 6 attack on the Capitol. A popular belief in QAnon was that the election of Mr. Trump was stolen and that true patriots would fight to keep him in office.
The FBI stressed that the belief in QAnon or the consumption of material related to the conspiracy theory becomes activity protected by the first amendment, and that the conspiracy theory only falls under law enforcement if supporters engage in violent or other illegal activities.
But the FBI also said that the fact that some of the domestic violent extremists who took part in the January 6 attack were identified as QAnon supporters’ underscores how the current environment is likely to continue to be a catalyst for some to accept the legitimacy of violent acceptance. action. ”