Violent secessionists and far-right extremist militia members are finding fertile ground for new recruits among QAnon followers who are sorely disappointed and disillusioned that now-President Joe Biden wasn't arrested on Inauguration Day leaving Donald Trump still in power and not spending his days golfing at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
As the BBC reported, "For weeks, QAnon followers had been promoting 20 January as a day of reckoning, when prominent Democrats and other elite 'Satanic pedophiles' would be arrested and executed on the orders of President Trump." But when that didn't happen, many true believers in the conspiracy rumors took to their message boards to bemoan the news and express disgust with "Q," who they believe led them astray.
According to a report from the Daily Beast, those message boards are now becoming the focus of right-wing extremists more interested in taking their fight to the streets rather than sharing outrageous conspiracy theories online.
That has led to what the Beast's Kelly Weill is calling a 'feeding frenzy" among extremist recruiters looking for new converts to their causes.
According to Jessica Reeves, editorial director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, "QAnon is really ripe territory for recruitment. There's a very conspiratorial idea about government power that's shared between anti-government extremist groups and QAnon people."
"Some QAnon fans have eagerly taken up teachings from the anti-government 'sovereign citizen' movement, members of which falsely claim to be emancipated from the U.S. and its laws," the report states before adding that recruiters are heading to the message boards where they pose as fans of the president in order to be accepted in a space where they can push their agenda.
As one administrator of a far-right Telegram account that promotes both secession and posts racist content wrote, "We've already been doing this since they came here by the millions, but now the time spent on our own channels should be fully directed toward MAGA. Bonus points if you disguise yourself as a Trumpster."
The report notes that members of the anti-Semitic "Christian Identity" movement are also working the message boards, looking for like-minded commenters they can bring into the fold.
As one Christian Identity member confided to his colleagues, "Have at it boys. You want recruits and to spread our message? Hop in," to which another responded, "In that big chat, no one called me out for anti-Semitism. People are so demoralized right now they don't give a shit anymore."
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