China and Russia ‘weaponized’ QAnon conspiracy, report says

The report, which are detailed in a report produced by the Soufan Center
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Daily US Times: Foreign adversaries like China and Russia “weaponized” QAnon messaging to sow further discord among the Americans in the months leading up to, and following, the January 6 Capitol attack, according to a new report released Monday.

The report, which are detailed in a report produced by the Soufan Center, details how China and Russia are not only utilizing the same false narratives to peddle disinformation across social media platforms but also fueling and patronizing a conspiracy theory that could incite more violence by domestic extremists.

The findings of the report suggest “that foreign states are utilizing the QAnon conspiracy theory to sow societal discord and even compromise legitimate political processes.” Soufan Center, the independent non-profit group, which is focused on global security, said in a press note.

Officials in the United States are aware that state-backed actors from countries like Russia have been amplifying QAnon messaging and federal agencies are investigating that foreign bonding and actors as part of a broader effort to address the threat posed by domestic extremists in the wake of January 6 Capitol massacre.

Last week, Christopher Wray, the director of FBI, reiterated that the bureau is not looking into the QAnon movement “in its own right” but tracking how foreign actors are amplifying the conspiracy theory is one of the few areas US officials have been able to explore in an otherwise limited investigative effort.

CNN previously reported citing sources that Russia has been pushing QAnon narratives as part of its long-standing disinformation campaign targeting the US.

But Monday’s report reveals new evidence that China, Saudi Arabia and Iran have also engaged in similar activity as recently as this year.

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