The FBI now considers crackpot fringe conspiracy theories — like the deep-state believer QAnon and the pedophile paranoid Pizzagate — a domestic terrorist threat, Yahoo News reported.
"The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts," states an FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau's Phoenix field office dated May 30, the news outlet reported Thursday.
The document specifically mentions QAnon, a shadowy network that believes in a deep state conspiracy against President Donald Trump, and Pizzagate, the theory a pedophile ring including Clinton associates was being run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant.
"The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts," the document states.
It also goes on to say the FBI believes conspiracy theory-driven extremists are likely to increase during the 2020 presidential election cycle.
"The advent of the Internet and social media has enabled promoters of conspiracy theories to produce and share greater volumes of material via online platforms that larger audiences of consumers can quickly and easily access," the document says, the news outlet reported.
The FBI is already under fire for its approach to domestic extremism, Yahoo News noted — pointing to a hearing last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which FBI Director Christopher Wray faced accusations the bureau was not focusing enough on white supremacist violence.
Wray told the lawmakers the FBI had dispensed with separate categories for black identity extremists and white supremacists, saying the bureau was focusing on "racially motivated" violence, the New York Post noted.
Yahoo News reported the bulletin focused on violence based specifically on beliefs that "attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others" and are "usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events."
Besides QAnon and Pizzagate, the FBI document also cites a California man who was arrested Dec. 19, 2018, after being found with what appeared to be bomb-making materials in his vehicle.
The unnamed man was planning to "blow up a satanic temple monument" in the Capitol rotunda in Springfield, Illinois, to "make Americans aware of Pizzagate and the New World Order, who were dismantling society," according to the document.
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