On Tuesday, ABC News reported that experts tracking incidents of right-wing domestic terrorism have found a spike linked to the QAnon movement.
"Experts who track extremist ideologies and movements as well as domestic terrorism in the U.S. say QAnon is a unique and unpredictable new strain of extremism in America's far-right political landscape," reported Chris Francescani. "The conspiracy theory imagines that President Donald Trump is secretly battling a global network of evil elites, Democrats, celebrities and their 'deep state' bureaucratic counterparts — a dizzying conspiratorial alliance of thousands of American citizens who, behind closed doors, are believed to be closeted Satan-worshipping pedophiles who traffic, abuse and sacrifice children, and their enablers."
According to University of Kansas political science professor Donald Haider-Merkel, an authority on political extremism, the QAnon conspiracy theory is unusual among right-wing extremist movements.
"What's weird about today is that if they are anti-government like QAnon, it's about a 'deep state,' this second government," said Haider-Merkel. "Typically, on the far right, they're wildly opposed to a strong federal government. But this doesn't look like that. This is, in fact, a defense of what they see as their government."