Source: huff post
10/23/2020 05:07 pm ET
Researchers found that swing states are particularly vulnerable to militia activity around the 2020 election.
Over the past several months, private militias have become more assertive, the two organizations found in a report published Thursday, titled Standing By: Right-Wing Militia Groups & The US Election. The report cites kidnapping plots targeting elected officials and interventions in protests throughout the country. Parts of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Oregon are at the highest risk of increased militia activity around the election, it says, while parts of North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, California and New Mexico are at a moderate risk. The report identifies the Three Percenters, Patriot Prayer, Proud Boys and Boogaloo Bois as groups that pose a high or very high potential for violence.
When militia members were arrested earlier this month for plotting to kidnap Michigans Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, the president seemed to delight in their animus toward her, encouraging a lock her up chant at a campaign rally in the state days later. His son Tweety McTreason Jr. has asked every able-bodied man, woman to join the Army for Trumps election security operation, an effort to recruit poll watchers who believe Democrats are trying to steal the election.
Militia activity is expected to be higher in competitive spaces like swing states, the report found, where armed groups may work to repress votes for Trumps opponents. Armed groups appear to be particularly active in areas where there have been protests against the lockdowns aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus an effort militias perceive as an assault on their freedom and places that have seen Black Lives Matter protests which militias view as leftist coup activities.
Locations where militia members have friendly relationships with members of law enforcement are likely to see higher levels of militia activity, the report found. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, law enforcement officers were recorded on video handing water to a group of militia members and telling them, We appreciate you guys, we really do, shortly before 17-year-old vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two people in late August. …………………………………