The FBI now considers anti-government conspiracy theories to be potential threats of domestic terrorism.
According to an FBI document obtained by Yahoo! News, the law enforcement agency has concluded that certain conspiracy theory narratives “tacitly support or legitimize violent action.”
“The FBI assesses anti-government, identity based, and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to commit criminal and sometimes violent activity,” the document reads. “The FBI further assesses in some cases these conspiracy theories very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places, and organizations, thereby increasing the likelihood of violence against these targets.”
Along with “Identity Based” conspiracy theories about Muslim or Jewish domination, the document lists Pizzagate and QAnon as “Fringe Political” conspiracy theories.
FBI Director Chris Wray warned Congress in July that domestic terrorist threats motivated by white supremacist ideology have made up a majority of the FBI’s arrests this year.
Far-right media personality Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory that Democrats were running an underground child sex trafficking ring through a pizza shop led to the infamous Pizzagate incident, wherein a Jones fan fired gunshots in a DC pizzeria.
The Florida man who sent more than a dozen homemade bombs to President Donald Trump’s political enemies had posted a horde of conspiracy theories about Democrats and George Soros on social media.
And court documents indicate that the man who fatally shot mafia boss Frank Cali was motivated to do so by the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Additionally, the gunman who killed three people and wounded dozens in Gilroy, California last weekend promoted an extremist book before the shooting.