QAnon, the conspiracy theory movement, has been linked to several alleged criminal acts.
Believers in QAnon claim that President Donald Trump is the country's savior from a cabal of powerful figures involved in nefarious activities like child trafficking.
Despite Trump's claim that QAnon supporters "love our country," many have been convicted or accused of crimes involving kidnapping, murder, and violence.
The FBI has warned that QAnon may become a domestic terrorism threat.
Here are all of the crimes QAnon-linked people have been convicted or accused of so far.
On August 19, President Donald Trump praised believers of QAnon — a movement based on the unfounded conspiracy theory that a cabal of elite Americans run a child trafficking ring and are secretly fighting to destroy the president.
Followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory passionately believe that Trump himself is actively fighting this cabal, which they also allege involves Hollywood power-players and several Democrats.
Disciples of the unfounded theory have been accused of violence, attempted kidnapping, attempted murder, and other criminal acts. The FBI field office in Phoenix warned in a bulletin last year that the group was becoming a domestic terrorism threat, and the same determination was made in a July report from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Many of the accused consider themselves to be vigilantes seeking justice where the US government has not.
And yet, when asked by a reporter to address the conspiracy theory, Trump showed support: "I've heard these are people that love our country," he said during a press conference.
Immediately after Trump gave his response, QAnon followers rejoiced on social media. August has been a particularly emboldening time for the movement, as Marjorie Taylor Greene, a popular supporter of QAnon from Georgia, earned the GOP nomination for a US House seat. Trump called her a "future Republican star."
Trump's flattering comments have already emboldened QAnon believers and could lead to more serious incidents, according to Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America (MMFA), a progressive non-profit that tracks far-right extremism and right-wing media, and has extensively analyzed the spread and dangers of QAnon.
"If you believe in QAnon, you almost have to fundamentally believe that violence is inevitable to 'save the world,'" Carusone told Insider in an email. "As we get closer to Election Day and in the days after, you will see increased urgency for action within the QAnon community, increasingly inflammatory language, and increased calls for acts of violence."
Though President-elect Joe Biden defeated Trump in the 2020 election, QAnon believers, like many Trump supporters, don't believe it, as Trump and his allies continue to baselessly allege voter fraud. Extremism experts warn that QAnon-linked violence may worsen, particularly as the movement has overlapped with other far-right and militant groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.
"People will mobilize when they think their civil rights are threatened, when they think that their freedom of speech is threatened, when they think that their government is run by tyrants — Q has been really good at consolidating those themes," Joan Donovan, the research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, previously told Insider.
Here are all of the crimes QAnon-linked people have been convicted or accused of so far.
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QAnon was built upon Pizzagate, the 2016 conspiracy theory that led a gunman to a Washington, DC, pizza shop because he falsely believed it was a front for a child sex trafficking ring.
Edgar Maddison Welch was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for entering Comet Ping Pong, a popular pizza spot in Washington, DC, and firing an assault rifle. An armed Welch drove to Washington from his North Carolina home on December 4, 2016, because he believed in the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory claiming Hillary Clinton and her associates ran a child sex trafficking ring out of the restaurant. He was convicted of assault and federal firearms charges.
"The intel on this wasn't 100 percent," Welch told The New York Times of his belief in Pizzagate, adding that he had made an "incredibly ill-advised decision."
In the wake of Pizzagate's wide reach, an anonymous figure called Q claimed to have high-level clearance in the US government and began sending messages about an alleged, fictitious deep-state government cabal on the anonymous message board 4chan.
While Welch's crime predated the emergence of QAnon, Pizzagate is widely regarded as the origin of the conspiracy theory, as QAnon adherents often still believe in Pizzagate.
The FBI said an Arizona man trespassed on property and poured out water tanks meant for migrants in 2018 and 2019 because he "alleged a law enforcement cover-up" of child sex trafficking.
In May 2018, when the anonymous Q figure had been promoting unfounded hypotheses about the US government on 4chan for months, a local veterans' rights activist in Tucson, Arizona, believed that he made a startling discovery. Michael 'Lewis Arthur' Meyer thought he'd uncovered a sex trafficking ring.
He was wrong, but his posts on Facebook about what was actually a deserted former homeless camp quickly gained notoriety online. People traveled from Australia to Tucson to seek justice and try to end this alleged human trafficking ring themselves, the High Country News reported, though the police investigated Meyer's discovery and said it was false.
In July 2018, Meyer was arrested on charges that he had trespassed for nine days on property owned by Cemex, the Tucson Police Department said. He pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct, and the trespassing charge was dismissed.
Over the next year, Meyer became a follower of QAnon and continued to believe that something was afoot in Tucson. He emptied several water barrels that were left for migrants crossing over the Mexico-US border, alleging that they were left there in relation to his imagined trafficking ring, the humanitarian group Humane Borders told the Arizona Daily Star.
Meyer said in Facebook live-stream videos that he believed the barrels were connected to the Clintons and George Soros, some of QAnon's biggest foes, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
In August 2019, Meyer was arrested again on felony charges of third-degree burglary and misdemeanor charges of theft and criminal damage, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
In the FBI's 2019 bulletin, the agency cited Meyer as one example of QAnon-related criminality. The FBI wrote that Meyer "alleged a law enforcement cover-up and referenced the QAnon conspiracy theory as he and armed group members searched" for some kind of trafficking activity.
The Pima County Attorney's Office dismissed Meyer's felony charge last year, but he awaits hearings for the two misdemeanor charges in the Pima County Justice Court, Deputy County Attorney John Edgett told Insider in an email.
With an armored truck and ammunition, a Nevada man blocked traffic on a major bridge connecting Arizona and Nevada near the Hoover Dam in June 2018.
On June 15, 2018, Matthew P. Wright drove to the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge, which spans the Colorado River between Arizona and Nevada, in a van. He blocked traffic with his ammunition-filled truck and one witness said they could see a gun poking out of a hole in the vehicle, the Arizona Republic reported.
During his standoff with police, before his arrest, Wright reportedly held up a sign that read, "Release the OIG report," a reference to the QAnon belief that there was a hidden Office of Inspector General report into former FBI Director James Comey.
In letters sent from prison in June 2018, Wright made allusions to QAnon conspiracy thinking and included the movement's slogan, "Where we go one, we go all," according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I simply wanted the truth on behalf of all Americans, all of humanity for that matter," he said in one letter, the Arizona Republic reported.
With prosecutors, Wright agreed to plead guilty to three charges in February of this year, including one terrorism charge, but the Arizona court denied the plea deal that would have landed him in jail for a shorter sentence. Wright awaits an additional sentencing hearing.
Blinded by QAnon, a 24-year-old killed a mob boss in Staten Island in March 2019 because he thought President Trump wanted him to, his lawyer said.
One of the most publicized QAnon-related incidents was Anthony Comello's trial. Comello was accused in March 2019 of killing Francesco Cali, a Gambino mob boss, which The New York Times called the "most high-profile mob killing in decades." But Comello, who was 24 at the time, did not allegedly kill Cali in Staten Island because of any mob connections.
Comello said in court that QAnon had led him to kill Cali, whom he believed was part of the deep-state. His lawyer, Robert C. Gottlieb, said in a court filing that Comello believed Trump supported the hit.
"Mr. Comello's support for QAnon went beyond mere participation in a radical political organization," Gottlieb wrote, according to The New York Times. "It evolved into a delusional obsession."
During one court appearance, Comello held up his hand for photographers to see that he'd scrawled "Q" and other QAnon-related words with blue ink on his palm.
Comello was found mentally unfit to stand trial and was transferred to a mental health facility for further evaluation, according to the Staten Island Advance.
In April, an Illinois woman live-streamed her drive to New York in an effort to "take out" Joe Biden. Police said she had more than a dozen knives in her car.
Jessica Prim, 37, was arrested in April after live-streaming on Facebook her drive from Illinois to New York City. Prim had posted on Facebook that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden "need to be taken out," though it was not clear how she would do that, according to the July report in the West Point Combating Terrorism Center's publication.
In her live-stream, Prim referenced "Frazzledrip," a nonexistent video that QAnon believers say depicts Clinton and former aide Huma Abedin attacking, assaulting, and murdering a child, Insider's Margot Harris reported.
Prim continued to stream on Facebook during her arrest near the USS Intrepid, which she mistook for the Navy Hospital Ship Comfort, the ship that was sent to assist in New York's fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Prim likely believed the cabal was holding children on the Comfort, The Daily Beast reported.
During her arrest, Prim appears to have referenced child sex trafficking conspiracy theories. "Have you guys heard about the kids?" she said, according to The Daily Beast. "OK, I'm not lying." Prim also reportedly said that she believed Trump was speaking to her through his coronavirus press briefings.
Prim was arrested on charges related to the possession of weapons and marijuana after police say they found more than a dozen knives in her vehicle, according to the New York Daily News. She was released from custody and is due in New York Criminal Court on October 29, court records show.
Prosecutors in Seattle said a 26-year-old man who believed in QAnon killed his brother with a sword because he thought he was a lizard.
A man in Seattle was charged with killing his brother with a 4-foot-long sword in January 2019. Buckey Wolfe, who was 26 at the time, believed in QAnon and expressed interest in the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys, according to The Daily Beast.
Wolfe called 911 himself after stabbing his brother and told the dispatcher, "God told me he was a lizard," according to charging papers obtained by The Seattle Times.
Wolfe had posted on social media about "the cabal," appearing to espouse the QAnon belief system, prosecutors said in court documents. He also referenced the motto "Where we go one, we go all" in Facebook posts, The Daily Beast reported.
Prosecutors in the case said they believed Wolfe was "severely mentally ill." Leaders from the Proud Boys said in a statement that they did not allow Wolfe to join the organization due to what they believed to be mental health issues.
A representative for the King County Superior Court told Insider that Wolfe was acquitted of the charges by reason of insanity on March 25.
A Colorado mom enlisted help from the QAnon community to kidnap a child in the fall of 2019, police said.
Montana police arrested Cynthia Abcug, 50, in December 2019 on a felony kidnapping charge. Abcug's daughter told police that "people from the Q-Anon group planned to kidnap" someone, documents show.
The arrest warrant affidavit from Colorado police, originally reported by The Daily Beast in January, did not disclose whom Abcug had allegedly intended to kidnap, but she had previously become a popular figure on the far-right after her son had been taken by state child-welfare officials last year, The Daily Beast reported.
According to the affidavit, Abcug's daughter told the authorities that her mother had been planning a kidnapping "raid" with other QAnon supporters. Police also said that Abcug had been giving weekly interviews to "libertarian media" tied to the QAnon movement.
A judge ruled on August 13 that Abcug was competent to stand an upcoming trial for the kidnapping charge, the Denver Post reported.
Abcug pleaded not guilty on September 25, according to the Associated Press.
Recently, a Texas woman tried to attack two strangers with her car because she thought they were child predators, police said. She's reportedly a QAnon follower.
Waco, Texas, police arrested Cynthia Fulbright on August 12 on charges that, while intoxicated, she chased two cars and crashed into one because she thought she was saving a child from child predators.
Fulbright, 30, told police that the person whose car she attacked was a child predator who "had kidnapped a girl for human trafficking," according to the police report obtained by the Waco Tribune-Herald. The individuals she attacked were strangers and Fulbright's claims "did not match the timeline or any facts or evidence," an arrest affidavit said, per the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Right Wing Watch, a progressive advocacy group that researches the American right-wing, reported that Fulbright was a QAnon supporter. Sydney Molina, who used to live with Fulbright, told Right Wing Watch that Fulbright became obsessed with the conspiracy theory this spring. "I found out later that she was staying up for days reading this stuff," Molina said. "She was getting more and more caught up in it and delusional."
Molina told Right Wing Watch that after her arrest, Fulbright texted her and said that the cops "knew I was doing good."
Fulbright was released and is awaiting her trial, a representative for the Waco Police Department told Insider.
An Oklahoma man whose Facebook was filled with #SaveOurChildren messaging has been accused of murdering his girlfriend's 10-month-old baby.
Joshua Jennings, 33, was arrested on September 25 on charges that he allegedly killed his girlfriend's 10-month-old baby.
The Oklahoma City Police Department said in a statement provided to Insider that the infant had been taken to the hospital with critical injuries before she died.
In Facebook posts reviewed by Insider, Jennings praised the "Save Our Children" (also called "Save the Children") movement. Jennings does not appear to have directly referenced QAnon on his Facebook page, but beginning in August, the QAnon community co-opted that anti-trafficking movement, making the conspiracy theory more digestible for the masses.
There is currently no evidence indicating that the crime itself was linked to QAnon or Jennings' ideology.
On August 12, Jennings wrote, "This #SaveOurChildren movement train I will GLADLY hop on." On August 16, he shared a post from another user that said, "Touch my kids and I will murder you with my bare hands and smile in the courtroom." On August 19, he shared a post that said, "It's time for pedophiles to 'go missing' like our children are."
Utah police said a woman enlisted the help of her friend to kidnap her son. Both women had posted about QAnon on social media.
One woman in Utah enlisted the help of her friend to kidnap her six-year-old son, the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake (UPD) said in early October.
A Facebook profile appearing to belong to Emily Jolley, the mother, was full of QAnon references, The Daily Beast reported. Insider found that a Facebook page appearing to belong to the woman's accomplice also spread QAnon conspiracy theories, in addition to posts related to the sovereign citizens, a movement of people who "believe that they get to decide which laws to obey," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"The mom does really seem like she aligns with the sovereign citizen stuff," UPD Detective Dan Moriarty told The Daily Beast.
A public information officer at the UPD told Insider that Jolley and her friend, Bonnie Jackson, were both charged with custodial interference, a third-degree felony.
A USPS mail carrier who appeared to follow QAnon is suspected of trying to discard several bags of undelivered mail.
A Pittsburgh-area mail carrier is suspected by the United States Postal Service (USPS) of attempting to throw away at least eight bags of undelivered mail in October.
Special agents with the United States Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General's office raided Sean Troesch's home and told local CBS affiliate KDKA that the undelivered mail included "business mail, flats, and small amount of first class mail."
A Facebook profile believed to belong to Troesch had several pro-QAnon posts, as The Pittsburgh City Paper first reported.
One post shared on the profile falsely says that Chrissy Teigen and Patton Oswalt have "promoted pedophilia" and says that "Pizzagate," the conspiracy theory that inspired QAnon, "is real."
Two men believed to be QAnon followers drove an SUV full of ammunition to a ballot-counting center in Philadelphia.
Following the 2020 presidential election, two Virginia men drove a Hummer SUV to Philadelphia and parked it outside of a Pennsylvania ballot-counting center on November 5, authorities said.
Pictures showed that the Hummer was adorned with two QAnon stickers — one saying QAnon and one saying, "WWG1WGA," the shortened version of the movement's slogan — and a QAnon hat was visible through the windshield, sitting on the dashboard.
Police said the men, Joshua Macias and Antonio Lamotta, had two loaded semi-automatic Beretta pistols, one semi-automatic AR-15-style rifle, and ammunition, according to a press release from the Philadelphia district attorney's office. Macias and Lamotta were arrested and charged with carrying a firearm without a license and carrying a firearm on public streets.
WHYY, an NPR affiliate outlet in Philadelphia, reported that Lamotta was also a member of a far-right militant group called the Virginia Armed Patriots. QAnon supporters have been noted to overlap with some extremist groups.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a press release that in spite of the "alarming incident," there have been "no reported incidents of violence related to the election" in Philadelphia.
A spokesperson for the District Attorney's office told Insider that they had no additional comment, but that this "remains a highly active investigation."
A. Charles Peruto Jr., a lawyer representing Macias, said there was "never any incident of violence or a threat with violence," The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
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