Days before the trial of the officer charged with murdering George Floyd is set to begin in Minneapolis, the FBI has arrested a member of the Boogaloo Bois who tried to travel to the city during this summer’s unrest and who has been in contact with a fellow extremist accused of attacking a police station there.
Jaap Willem Lijbers, 26, is an undocumented Dutch citizen living in Virginia who investigators have tied to the white nationalist movement that wants to overthrow the U.S. government by inciting a second civil war. He was arrested during a raid on his home in rural Virginia on weapons and immigrations charges.
According to a criminal complaint filed March 2 in Virginia federal court, Lijbers was a member of a private Facebook group that included Steven Carrillo, a notorious Boogaloo Boi and Air Force sergeant charged in a series of politically motivated cop killings last June. It says Lijbers had also been in direct contact with Benjamin Ryan Teeter, a North Carolina Boogaloo Boi who in December pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for attempting to provide material support to Hamas, and with Ivan Harrison Hunter, a Boogaloo Boi from Texas charged with rioting after firing 13 rounds from an AK-47 style assault rifle into a Minneapolis police station during the 2020 civil unrest that followed the death of Floyd while being detained by police.
The term “boogaloo” refers to the title of the 1984 movie “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo,” to denote a sequel to the American Civil War that ended in 1865. The terminology has evolved over time, and has come to include soundalike words such as “big luau.” Playing off of this, many Boogaloo Bois have adopted the Hawaiian shirt as an unofficial uniform of sorts.
Lijbers was first identified in July 2020, following the FBI’s launch of a broader investigation into the Boogaloo Bois “based on information that members were discussing committing crimes of violence and were maintaining an armed presence on the streets of Minneapolis during civil unrest following the death of George Floyd,” the complaint states. Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with killing Floyd, is set to go on trial March 8.
Using search warrants to subpoena social media records, the complaint states the FBI identified a Facebook account under the name “Marvin Dorner” that had been in contact with Hunter and Teeter. In one series of direct messages, Lijbers—using the Marvin Dorner alias—discussed traveling to Minneapolis during the protests, it says.
“I’m personally pissed off about this,” Lijbers wrote.
“I’m leaving NC as soon as my guys are assembled,” Teeter responded. “We’re linking up now.”
“I’m in southwest Virginia,” replied Lijbers, specifying the town in which he lived as Tazewell, a town of 4,200 people roughly 150 miles from Roanoke. “Where in nc you at? The cops are running out of manpower. And vehicles.”
The complaint says Teeter planned on picking up Lijbers the next day as he swung through Virginia on the way to Minneapolis, but Lijbers apparently got stuck at work. Even though he couldn’t join, Lijbers and Teeter stayed in touch over the following several days, it explains.
“Hoodie OVER plate carriers,” Lijbers allegedly advised Teeter, who was by now in Minneapolis. “Do NOT stand out. Appear civilian. Bring marshmellows [sic] for the bonfire and seasoning for the pig roast,” which appear to be references to the “big luau,” a slang term for the second civil war the boogaloo movement is fixated on fomenting.
In another, the feds say, Lijbers told Teeter to “get the gov buildings. All of them.” But for all of his apparent enthusiasm, Lijbers still couldn’t get himself to Minneapolis.
“I’m still trying to find a ride,” he messaged Teeter on June 1. “All my ‘boogbois’ are chickening out, so it’s just me which I always figured anyways.”
Lijbers then “pivoted” to attending a local protest in Virginia a week later, the affidavit says. He had been the only one there armed with a gun, he messaged Hunter, saying that he had “discussed his rifle with one of the police present and that he basically ran security for the event.” He sent Hunter a photograph of himself holding a sign reading: “THE BIG IGLOO BOIS LAUGH IN THE FACE OF TYRANNY,” and followed up with a message that said, “I showed every cop that sign.” In another message, Lijbers sent Hunter a screenshot of a tweet showing him holding a rifle at the rally.
Although Lijbers had enough tactical gear to somewhat look the part, his operational security was decidedly amateurish. In a follow-up message to Hunter, Lijbers reportedly said he was going to email him his real name in case something happened to him.
“You’re the only one in this country with that info, besides my daughter’s mom,” Lijbers wrote.
In August, Lijbers attended another local rally and granted an interview to a local news channel while cradling an assault rifle. Although he is presented as a good ol’ boy of sorts, a hint of Lijbers’ Dutch accent is evident.
Over the summer, Lijbers’ Facebook page disappeared, according to the FBI. He set up a new one under the name “Jaxson Lynch,” a moniker he also used on Discord, a chat app popular in far-right circles. Following Hunter’s November 2020 arrest, the feds searched his phone’s contact list, which turned up a phone number under the name “jax.” As the feds continued to examine Hunter’s phone, they found a group chat that had been conducted on the Signal app which also linked “jax” with “Marvin Dorner.”
A search of public records didn’t identify anyone named Marvin Dorner living in Tazewell and no one named Jaxson Lynch in the area, either. But in January 2021, Facebook records subpoenaed by the FBI led to a break in the case.
In analyzing a 2018 group chat that the affidavit says was completely unrelated to the Boogaloo Bois, agents identified one of the participants as a local law enforcement officer. They contacted the unidentified officer, who said that “Marvin Dorner’s” real first name was Jaap. The officer said Jaap was from the Netherlands, and had fathered a child with a woman named in the affidavit as “B.K.” From there, agents were able to track down a post office box B.K. had previously rented and shared with someone named Jaap Willem Lijbers.
A further review of Facebook records showed communication between Marvin Dorner and various people with the last name Lijbers. In one message, Dorner referred to having been born in 1994, Jaap Willem Lijbers’ birth year.
Agents from Homeland Security Investigations followed up with a check of U.S. immigration records. They discovered a Jaap Willem Lijbers who entered the country on a three-month visitor’s visa in May 2014. Nearly seven years later, Lijbers was himself in the same boat as the undocumented people against whom he and his Boogaloo Boi compatriots have taken up arms.
“As of February 8, 2021, Lijbers has never applied for an adjustment to his initial status and no immigration records or applications are identified which would provide Lijbers extended authorization to remain in the United States or preclude his deportation,” the affidavit says.
On March 2, federal agents executed a search warrant at Lijbers’ home in Virginia. They seized a Radical Firearms RF-15 military-style rifle along with five magazines, one of which was loaded. Lijbers was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a firearm while being unlawfully present in the United States. A federal magistrate judge ordered Lijbers held without bail. His public defender, Nancy Combs Dickenson-Vicars, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lijbers is due back in court March 9.