MINNEAPOLIS – Two men tied to the far-right, anti-government “Boogaloo” movement have been arrested after allegedly conspiring to help the Islamic militant group Hamas.
Michael Robert Solomon, 30, of New Brighton, Minnesota, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, of Hampstead, North Carolina, appeared in a Minneapolis courtroom Friday on charges of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
“This case can only be understood as a disturbing example of the old adage, ‘The enemy of your enemy is your friend,’” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers, of the National Security Division. “As alleged in the complaint, these defendants sought to use violence against the police, other government officials and government property as part of their desire to overthrow the government.”
Demers said Solomon and Teeter met with people they thought were part of Hamas, “thinking that they shared the same desire to harm the United States.” The two men allegedly offered to be “mercenaries” for Hamas and to provide the group with weapons accessories, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minnesota. The two men allegedly claimed to be able to make unmarked parts for guns and build untraceable weapons – including suppressors and a “drop in auto sear” that allows weapons to shoot automatically – for use in attacks against Israeli and U.S. soldiers.
The self-described “Boogaloo Bois” made plans to “carry out violence in Minnesota and elsewhere,” said U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald.
The FBI started investigating Solomon and Teeter in late May of 2020, according to an affidavit. Authorities say the men are members of the “Boogaloo Bois” and a sub-group called the “Boojahideen.”
The Boogaloo movement is based on the idea that there is an impending second civil war in the United States and is associated with violent uprisings against the government, according to the Department of Justice.
A witness told investigators that Solomon was openly carrying firearms in a residential neighborhood in Minneapolis during unrest over the death of George Floyd, and that both men had talked about violently attacking police officers and other targets, according to a criminal complaint.
At one point in the investigation, Solomon and Teeter spoke with a source and an undercover FBI agent they believed to be a high-ranking member of Hamas. The men outlined plans to destroy government monuments, raid the headquarters of a white supremacist organization in North Carolina and target politicians and members of the media, according to the complaint.