Boogaloo Bois member pleads guilty to conspiracy to provide weapons and resources to US-designated terrorist group Hamas
- On Wednesday, at a US District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Benjamin Ryan Teeter, a 22-year-old self-described member of the right-wing paramilitary Boogaloo Bois group, pleaded guilty to charges that he sought to sell weapons to Hamas.
- In court, Teeter added that he and co-defendant Robert Solomon hoped Hamas, which is designated by the US as a terrorist group, would help them "exit the country and open a training facility" for the Boogaloo Bois.
- "This case highlights the real threat posed by domestic violent extremists who self-radicalize and threaten to violently attack others opposed to their views, with little or no warning," said Michael Paul, special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis field office.
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A self-described member of the far-right extremist Boogaloo Bois group pleaded guilty today to conspiracy charges to provide weapons and services to Hamas, a Palestinian political party and designated foreign terrorist organization by the US government.
At a US District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Benjamin Ryan Teeter, a 22-year-old member of the paramilitary group, pleaded guilty to charges levied on November 6; the FBI's investigation into the group started back in the summer.
According to documents filed in court, the FBI began investigating Teeter and co-defendant Michael Robert Solomon in May 2020, when an undercover confidential source tipped the FBI off that the Boogaloo Bois sought to employ themselves as mercenaries for Hamas in order to raise money for a training compound, and later sell specialized weapons to Hamas.
According to the Department of Justice, the source recorded conversations with the two, in which Teeter said that the anti-government group and Hamas shared similar goals. A sentencing date has not yet been set; Teeter could face up to 20 years on a felony charge.
With the undercover agent and an informant, Teeter and Solomon negotiated to sell gun suppressors and devices that modify semi-automatic weapons into illegal machine guns, according to DOJ charges.
Teeter and Solomon sold batches of the weapon accessories to the undercover agent and informant, allegedly believing that the eventually modified weapons would be used to target Israeli and American military personnel abroad, according to prosecutors.
In September, Hamas publicly denounced the FBI sting on Teeter and Solomon and did not want to be associated with the extreme goals of the Boogaloo Bois.
The two Boogaloo Bois also repeatedly shared plans with the agent to destroy a courthouse in northern Minnesota as well as other government buildings, statues of white supremacists, and police precincts.
"This case highlights the real threat posed by domestic violent extremists who self-radicalize and threaten to violently attack others opposed to their views, with little or no warning," said Michael Paul, special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis field office.
According to the Minnesota Star Tribune, Teeter acknowledged in court today that he thought the materials would be used by Hamas' paramilitary group. "I mean, why would someone buy suppressors if they weren't going to deliver them to a militant wing?" he said.
In court, Teeter added that he and Solomon hoped Hamas would help them "exit the country and open a training facility" for the Boogaloo Bois.
"The defendant was a self-described member of the Boogaloo Bois whose extremist ideologies had moved into the realm of violent action," said Minnesota United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald. "I am grateful for the quick and effective action by law enforcement to keep our community safe."
After the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protest movement borne out of that moment, the Boogaloo Bois group drew attention by showing up to several protest sites in different cities, often armed. Other members of the loose-knit faction have appeared at anti-mask protests in states like Michigan.
In June, three members were arrested on domestic terrorist charges for inciting violence at protests in Las Vegas. Federal prosecutors at the time said that the term "Boogaloo" was "a term used by extremists to signify coming civil war and/or fall of civilization."
A Texas Boogaloo member, Ivan Hunter, is also facing federal charges for allegedly shooting a rifle repeatedly into the burning Minneapolis Third Precinct building as people were inside.
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