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The FBI and the Homeland Security Department's intelligence office are warning that many adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory have become disillusioned as the movement's false prophesies keep not materializing, and some of those followers will likely turn to violence, according to a report released Monday by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).
One main tenet of the QAnon conspiracy was "The Storm," where former President Donald Trump would stay in power and his enemies in the "cabal" would be tried and executed. At least 20 of the people arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection are QAnon followers, the report says. After President Biden won and took office, some QAnon adherents have come to believe Trump is the "shadow president," while others "likely will disengage from the movement or reduce their involvement" as Biden continues to be president.
A main concern, the two-page unclassified FBI report says, is that violent "adherents of QAnon likely will begin to believe they can no longer 'trust the plan' referenced in QAnon posts and that they have an obligation to change from serving as 'digital soldiers' toward engaging in real world violence — including harming perceived members of the 'cabal' such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q's promised actions which have not occurred." Believing in QAnon is not in itself a violation of any law, the FBI underscores.
Heinrich and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked the FBI for its QAnon assessment in December. "QAnon refers to a complex and constantly evolving conspiracy theory that is promoted by a decentralized online community that has morphed into a real-world movement," the report explains. "Its foundational principle holds that a corrupt cabal of 'global elites' and 'deep state' actors run a Satan-worshiping international child sex trafficking ring, and engaged in plots to conduct a coup against a former president of the United States while he was in office." You can read the two-page memo at CNN.