FBI report: Minn. Boogaloo Bois preparing for possible violence at rally next week

    The Minnesota State Capitol building in winter, St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo by Tony Webster.

    Members of the extremist Boogaloo Bois movement attended demonstrations at the Minnesota state Capitol in early December to prepare for possible violence at a rally in St. Paul on Jan. 17, according to a report from the FBI’s Minneapolis field office.

    The report, obtained and published Monday by Yahoo News, was sent to law enforcement in Minnesota and Michigan in late December, the week before the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol. It warns that Boogaloo followers “did not identify any specific attack plot, but planned to use violence” in case of a fight on Jan. 17, when members of the movement intend to hold rallies at state capitols nationwide.

    Several members of the Boogaloo Bois — a loosely organized, far-right, anti-government group that aims to exploit unrest to begin a civil war — have been charged in connection with the riots in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd.

    In early December, Minnesota-based Boogaloo supporters went to demonstrations at the state Capitol to identify security measures and sniper locations used by law enforcement, as well as “escape points and defensible positions” if violence breaks out at the upcoming rally, the report says. One follower said the building used by snipers would have to be blown up if there’s a gun battle, and at least one “expressed his willingness to die” for the movement.

    In Michigan, a Boogaloo follower suggested using “a gasoline-based device with a tripwire” to create a distraction while others “take the capitol,” according to the report.

    As a mob overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, a rally attended by hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump at the Minnesota state Capitol was largely peaceful despite attendees’ violent rhetoric. When the crowd moved to the governor’s residence, Walz said that the Minnesota State Patrol relocated his son from the house because of safety concerns.

    FBI Activity Alert by Yahoo News

    Rilyn Eischens
    Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.