After Joe Biden’s spokesperson Andrew Bates claimed the FBI identified the QAnon movement as a “domestic terrorism threat,” nearly every news outlet ran wild and scrambled to post headlines such as “Trump praised QAnon, which FBI says is a terror threat,” but unlike the rest of the media, CELEB actually contacted the FBI to see what they had to say about the Biden campaign’s statement.
When specifically asked if QAnon was indeed a terrorist threat, FBI’s National Press Office shared this statement with CELEB:
The FBI does not and cannot designate domestic terrorist groups. The FBI can never initiate an investigation based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights. When it comes to domestic terrorism, our investigations focus solely on the criminal activity of individuals—regardless of group membership—that appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population or influence the policy of the government by intimidation or coercion. It’s important to note that membership in groups which espouse domestic extremist ideology is not illegal in and of itself—no matter how offensive their views might be to the majority of society. Membership in a group is not a sufficient basis for an investigation.
Bates had said that President Trump “just sought to legitimize a conspiracy theory that the FBI has identified as a domestic terrorism threat” after Trump acknowledged and praised the group during a press conference at the White House last week.
“I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” Trump said. “So I don’t know really anything about it other than they do supposedly like me.” When a reporter brought up how the Q followers believe that he is trying to stop a satanic cult of pedophiles, Trump replied: “Is that supposed to be a bad thing?”
Since then, QAnon has dominated the mainstream media headlines.
In an exclusive interview yesterday with one of the movement’s top supporters, Liz Crokin explained that “Q is a military intelligence operation. The goal of Q is to wake the public up to the criminal activity that the cabal is involved in.”
The “conspiracy” is often mocked in the media even though Q posts intel such as alluding to Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest before it happened.
“At the end of the day, for argument’s sake, how is Q a bad thing. Q encourages people to do their own research and think for themselves,” Crokin said. “Q is exposing some of the biggest traffickers on the planet, so even if Q is fake or doesn’t turn out to be Trump or military intelligence, how is it bad? It’s uniting people to stand up and speak out against child predators. That’s not a bad thing!”
Department of Homeland Security’s acting secretary Chad Wolf told CNN on Sunday that QAnon was not a significant threat. “I look at all the threats facing the homeland, this is not one that rises to a significant level,” he said, although later condemned the Q community.
When CNN anchor Jake Tapper brought up the FBI’s so-called labeling of the group as a domestic terrorist threat (before he got our memo), Wolf replied, “I don’t have any reason to believe anything different from the FBI,” he said.
In fact, very few articles actually citied any kind of proof, but the Chicago Tribune linked to a Yahoo News! article upload of a May 2019 FBI bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office, which mainly mentions specific individuals who have been a threat. Obviously, the bulletin was greatly exaggerated and that’s basically how the fake news started.
After a follow-up email to the FBI requesting the legitimacy of last year’s bulletin at the local Phoenix office, the FBI shared another statement with CELEB basically saying that local FBI field offices sometimes share information, but no mention of confirming a threat:
“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, FBI field offices routinely share information with their local law enforcement partners to assist in protecting the communities they serve. These products are intended to be informative in nature, and as such, they contain appropriate caveats to describe the confidence in the sourcing of information and the likelihood of the assessment. Additionally, when written at a local level, these products will note that the perspective offered may be limited to the field office’s area of responsibility.
We’re not sure why the rest of the media didn’t confirm the Team Biden statements with the FBI but hey, we’re just doing our job.