Men Tied To Right-Wing Extremism Arrested Heading To BLM Protest With Molotov Cocktails
Protesting, rioting, looting. Protestors, rioters, looters. The lines between these can blur. Sometimes, they’re blurred by design, for political or social goals. Often, rioters and looters aren’t connected to protestors at all, and may be opportunists, or may actually intend to derail the conversation. Throughout the protests for justice after the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, outside agitators have been caught turning protests into riots and destruction. In Nevada, three more such men have been arrested — and their political ties add concern.
Stephen T. Parshall, Andrew T. Lynam Jr., and William L. Loomis were arrested in Las Vegas over the weekend. After making plans online, the three purchased gasoline, made Molotov cocktails, and headed to the protests, according to HuffPost. They’ve said in court that they identify with the boogaloo movement.
Boogaloo Bois aren’t quite as easy to pin down with regard to political beliefs as perhaps some extremist groups, according to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism, with some adherents actually claiming anti-racism, and even claiming there will be a uniting of forces between Black Lives Matter, Boogaloo Bois, and antifascists, but there’s still a definite white supremacist element, and the whole movement tends to lean far right.
This particular trio will face charges at the Federal level for unregistered weapons and conspiracy to destroy and damage by fire and explosives, and at the state level for conspiracy, possession of explosives, and terrorism. The three reportedly discussed in advance their plans to hijack protests and start riots, and specifically discussed targets for destruction, including U.S. Forest Service ranger station and a fee station at Lake Mead.