An undercover operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has led to the arrest of two young men who are part of the 'Boogaloo Movement.' Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Ryan Teeter, 22, are two 'Boogaloo Bois' who wanted to supply guns to, and fight for, Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organisation which mainly seeks to target Israel.
FBI sent an undercover agent, posing as a member of Hamas, to talk to these men. Solomon and Teeter both showed an active interest in becoming mercenaries for the terrorist group in return for money which they intended to use for bolstering their own organization.
The two men caught the attention of federal agencies when they participated in a protest against the killing of George Floyd in May. These men were bearing firearms and mentioned being part of the Boogaloo movement, being 'Boojahideen' in their words. They also mentioned their desire to indulge in violent acts against authorities and the ultimate desire of overthrowing the government.
They have now been arrested and charged with 'conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization,' according to the Department of Justice.
Who are Boogaloo Bois?
Boogaloo Bois or Boys is a term used to describe members of a loose group of organizations called the Boogaloo movement. This is a far-right coalition that believes a second civil war is set to take place in the USA and wants to use it for overthrowing the current dispensation, to replace it with one they think is more appropriate.
The Boogaloo movement emerged from the notorious 4chan anonymous message board on the internet. 4chan is the same place from where the QAnon conspiracy theory came out. This website has a section for discussing weapons and firearms – the /k/. It was in the /k/ section that people connected to this movement started debating the possibility of a second Civil War in the USA.
The name Boogaloo is derived from a famous 1984 movie called 'Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo.' Somehow, people on /k/ section of 4chan started talking about Civil War 2: Electric Boogaloo.
The Boogaloo Bois are usually identifiable through their dress – Hawaiian floral shirts with military fatigues – and firearms on their persons. They have become more visible since last year and have turned up in protests against George Floyd's killing as well.
There has always been a fringe anti-government anarchist section in American society. The Boogaloo movement also belongs to it. However, apart from the desire to see a second civil war and the overthrow of the current system, there isn't much clarity as to what those associated with these groups want.
They all believe in the Second Amendment right to bear arms but beyond that, there is a multiplicity of views on other issues. For instance, some of the Boogaloo organizations are white supremacist while others are vehemently anti-racist.
Earlier this year, in late May and early June, there were two armed attacks by this group against government officials which resulted in the death of two persons. One of the assailants turned out to be an Air Force officer.
As of now, it seems the group just wants to create mayhem. In their quest for a new order, they seem to be willing to join any group, at least that's what the actions of the two arrested men suggest. Otherwise, it is hard to imagine American far-right groups having any sympathy for an Islamist organization.