Following the January 6th storming of the Capitol building in Washington, DC, the FBI have initiated an investigation to see if whether a foreign government played any part of what transpired.
This was reported by NBC, citing two unnamed FBI officials – one current, one former.
The FBI is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, “to key figures and groups in the alt-right before the riot”, the unnamed sources said.
On December 8, 2020, a donor sent 28.15 BTC — worth approximately $522,000 at the time of transfer — to 22 separate addresses in a single transaction. Many of those addresses belong to far-right activists and internet personalities.
Nick Fuentes received 13.5 BTC — worth approximately $250,000 at the time of the transfer — making him by far the biggest beneficiary of the donation. However, several others received significant funds as well, including anti-immigration organization VDARE, alt-right streamer Ethan Ralph, and several addresses whose owners are as yet unidentified.
There is no evidence that Fuentes even entered Capitol, and he denies doing so. He was present in the rally, and when the riot began.
One group of Fuentes’ supporters, which calls itself the Groyper Army, was filmed running through the Capitol carrying a large blue flag with the America First logo.
“We’re looking at and treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation,” Michael Sherwin, the U.S. attorney in D.C., said at a news briefing last week.
“We’re looking at everything: Money, travel records, looking at disposition, movement, communication records.”
Regardless, Russia, China and also Iran were blamed for having taken hold of the presented opportunity.
“Russian, Iranian, and Chinese influence actors have seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition,” the FBI said in a joint statement with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies.
Russian state and proxy media outlets “have amplified themes related to the violent and chaotic nature of the Capitol Hill incident, impeachment of President Trump, and social media censorship,” the unclassified intelligence report said. “In at least one instance, a Russian proxy claimed that ANTIFA members disguised themselves as supporters of President Trump, and were responsible for storming the Capitol building.”
Chinese media, meanwhile, “have seized the story to denigrate U.S. democratic governance, casting the United States as broadly in decline — and to justify China’s crackdown on protestors in Hong Kong.”
This comes on the back of “mounting evidence” that’s never been presented that Russia and other foreign adversaries have sought to secretly support political extremists on the far right and far left.
Law enforcement officials and terrorism experts say there has long been “a mutual affection between Western white supremacists and the Russian government,” a research publication by two researchers said back in February.
US Senators were so concerned enough about the issue that they inserted a requirement in the 2021 defense bill that the Pentagon “report to Congress on the extent of Russian support for ‘racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist groups and networks in Europe and the United States’ — and what can be done to counter it.”
Regardless of what comes out, Russia and China are likely to be blamed for what transpired, since it would be the east, if more sanctions and tensions are expected against them. This is not even a slightly surprising claim.
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