None of QAnon believers' predictions about former President Donald Trump returning to Washington, DC and being "reinstated" as president have come true.
But now it appears they're ramping up efforts in another area to try to advance their political agenda and raise money for their cause.
An in-depth report by The New York Times recounts how QAnon adherents are intercepting migrant children at the southern border and attempting to woo and indoctrinate them into their worldview. It's the latest iteration of the group's claim that its mission is to save children from a powerful cabal of child sex traffickers.
The Times reports that QAnon follower Jason Frank is gathering up migrants who enter the United States through gaps in the border wall in Arizona and plying the weary and hungry children with hamburgers and hot dogs -- all while giving them "Let's Go Brandon" T-shirts to pose for a group photo and leading them in a prayer circle. He also reportedly broadcasts the activities on Facebook Live, declaring that he wants to keep the children safe.
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"Frank, a QAnon influencer whose Facebook page in recent months has shown him pictured with such conservative celebrities as Donald J. Trump Jr., Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell," the newspaper reports, "has fashioned his team into a new style of border enforcers, motivated not so much by halting immigration as by guarding the country from other perceived threats — in this case, an unfounded conspiracy theory that migrant children are being funneled into pedophilia rings.
“They are being trafficked, sex trafficked. That’s the No. 1 trade,” according to Frank.
But that's not the reality according to Stacey Sutherland, an official with the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network. “We haven’t heard about migrant children brought in to be sex workers or slaves,” she said . “At the border, it’s overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled.”
The sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, Chris Nanos, called the “QAnon types” at the border “nut jobs” but said they were not his responsibility.
"If they are interfering with migrants crossing, Border Patrol should deal with it,” he said.
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Not long after the migrant children who cross the border and are intercepted by QAnon, the U.S. Border Patrol arrives and takes them into custody for processing.
Mia Bloom, an expert on extremist radicalization and the co-author of “Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon,” has this blunt estimation: “The kids are a prop for them to use to spread their message.”
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