EP 563 A Summer Going Down the QAnon and White Supremacist Rabbit Hole

The International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism(ICSVE) has spent a lot of time monitoring and reporting on the actions and motivation of threats from extremists abroad.  Circumstances on the ground in America have forced the Center to focus new attention on the activities of  home grown extremists in our midst.  What might have been considered a scattered and disorganized grouping of fringe players congealed to attack our U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, a first for our nation. It also served as a wake-up call that groups like QAnon, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers must be taken seriously, as the FBI has been alerting us.  Dr. Anne Speckard Director of the ISCVE joins us to discuss a report generated by her and other researchers in her group after spending a summer inside QAnon and white supremacist online forums.  They designed a study to observe online forums populated and run by such groups with the aim of gaining a clearer understanding of not only what draws people to join them but also to determine how QAnon plays a part in the radicalization process. Dr. Speckhard’s team included Wilson W. Warren, Kate Strezishar and Molly Ellenberg.  We discuss their chilling finds today.