Far-right extremists at each other's throats over fears of who has turned informant: report

Far-right extremists at each other's throats over fears of who has turned informant: report
Evan Nesterak

According to a report from the Daily Beast, far-right extremist groups are in turmoil after the Jan. 6th Capitol riot over fears somemembers may now be FBI informants and as high-ranking members battle each other for leadership positions.

The report, from the Beast's Will Sommer and Kelly Weill, states there is a different current of paranoia running through the groups after it was revealed some prominent members -- including a prominent leader of the Proud Boys -- were also working with the government.

In late January, Reuters reported that Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio was a "prolific" informant for the FBI, with the report stating Tarrio "cooperated with local and federal law enforcement, to aid in the prosecution of those running other, separate criminal enterprises, ranging from running marijuana growing houses in Miami to operating pharmaceutical fraud schemes."

That bombshell report still ripples through the extremist groups today.

"In the Trumpist "America First" movement and the far-right paramilitary group the Proud Boys, alliances are fracturing as extremists brand each other as potential informants. Now racist live-streamers are accusing their former comrades of attempting to turn over followers to law enforcement, while Proud Boys chapters are splintering from the national organization over similar fears," the Beast reports.

"Accusations that one-time allies have become federal informants aren't uncommon in the extreme right, which has built up an entire lexicon of terms to describe the varieties of real or suspected federal infiltrators," the Beast authors add. "But that paranoia has been ratcheted up in the aftermath of the riot, with the Proud Boys—a group that has seen a slew of members indicted—splintering under accusations that leaders have become informants or otherwise been compromised by the FBI."

The Tarrio incident has various Proud Boy organizations splintering off over fears of infiltration.

According to a statement from one Indiana chapter, "We reject and disavow the proven federal informant, Enrique Tarrio, and any and all chapters that choose to associate with him. We do not recognize the assumed authority of any national Proud Boy leadership including the Chairman, the Elders, or any subsequent governing body that is formed to replace them until such a time we may choose to consent to join those bodies of government."

After an Oklahoma chapter rebuked Tarrio -- who has maintained his innocence -- he fired back.

"Tarrio responded to the Oklahoma chapter's departure with a series of memes accusing Oklahomans of being rednecks, or having sex with relatives. Anti-Tarrio Proud Boys responded with their own memes accusing their former leader of ratting out members of the group, photoshopping his face on rapper and government witness Tekashi69. Another meme played on the menacing Proud Boys motto 'F*ck Around and Find Out,' claiming that Tarrio would instead 'Snitch Around and Rat Out,'" the Beast reports.


You can read more here (subscription required).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.