Capitol attack: 60 Proud Boys used encrypted channel to plan

60 Proud Boys used encrypted channel to plan
A mob clashes with Capitol police in Washington DC on 6 January. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: A federal indictment says the neo-fascist Proud Boys deployed a large contingent in Washington on January 6, the day of the United States Capitol attack, with more than 60 of the far-right group “participating in” an encrypted messaging channel called “Boots on the Ground”.

The indictment, which includes conspiracy charges against four men described as leaders of Proud Boys, presents fresh evidence of how officials believe members planned and carried out a coordinated step to stop certifying Joe Biden’s election victory over Donald Trump.

At least 19 leaders, members or associates of the far right group have been charged in federal court with offenses related to the Capitol riot, which resulted in five deaths, including a police officer. More than 300 people have been charged in total for the attack. Former President Donald Trump was impeached for inciting the insurrection and violence but was acquitted after only seven Republican senators broke ranks to vote to convict him.

The indictment revealed on Friday also suggests that the Proud Boys were discussing what they would do after he left the White House. Mr Trump told the far right group to “stand back and stand by” during a presidential debate last year.

According to the indictment, one alleged leader wrote after the Capitol invasion: “We need to start planning and we are starting planning for a Biden presidency.”

Just two days before the attack on the US Capitol, the Proud Boys’ leader, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested from the country’s capital Washington, charged with vandalizing a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic Black church, and ordered to stay out of the DC.

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