According to a report from the Daily Beast, far-right extremist groups are in turmoil after the Jan. 6th Capitol riot over fears some members 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.
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