Militias say they're joining forces as last stand: report

Experts are warning that after failing to overturn the 2020 election and take over the U.S. Capitol, extremist groups are gearing up for a kind of "last stand."

Reporting in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, militia researcher Hampton Stall, from the non-profit Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, predicted things will get worse before they get better.

"We are going to see a lot of this coalition-building with some pretty nasty actors," he said.

Two groups like the "Three Percenter" militia and American Patriots USA (APUSA) are among those joining forces.

"The way patriots are now being hunted down and arrested by fellow men and women who have taken the same oath has disheartened any faith I had in the redemption or reformation of the USA as one entity," the AJC quoted Justin Thayer, who runs the Georgia III% Martyrs. He previously that provided security for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene when she was a candidate.

Chester Doles who heads American Patriots in north Georgia was a member of several other "racist and neo-Nazi hate groups" before he started the new group in 2019. Together, they hope to get Georgia to secede from the union either from an amendment to the Constitution or "the collapse of the American experiment," said Thayer.

"For the last 150 years, the Imperial Yankee culture of the northeast has been molding Georgia — and the South in general — into its 'perfect' image," he said. "Things are different now. Everything has changed. We've seen our last Republican president in American history. The ballot box — we tried as hard as we could try. It's not working."

"We both have the same objective and work with other organizations," Doles said. "So it was in the best interest of the movement to become ally's (sic) and work together."

Fox News reported this week that among those indicted for participating in the attack on the Capitol was "Three Percenter" Robert Gieswein, charged with six counts. The Daily Beast reported last month that Gieswein has since deleted his social media pages, but before he posted photos flashing the "Three Percenter" sign outside of Rep. Lauren Boebert's Colorado bar. Gieswein was armed with a baseball bat and "an aerosol irritant spray."

About an hour ahead of the attack, videos showed Three Percenters and members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers discussing storming the Capitol, the Washington Post reported.

Anti-Defamation League's Amy Landiorio told the AJC that the political protests over the past year inspired extremist groups to work together despite ideological differences. Groups from traditional militias are working with white supremacist groups, QAnon believers and others who consider the government their enemy.

Last week the Department of Homeland Security issued an alert that anti-government groups are intent on striking again.

"Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence," the department said.

Landiorio described a kind of "shared victimhood" motivating these groups into a "tactical" alliance as they look toward their next steps.

Read the full report at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.