Two members of a violent far-right group appeared in court in Minneapolis before the weekend charged with conspiring to aid the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
A Justice Department statement on Friday announced a federal criminal complaint charging Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to Hamas — a designated terrorist organization under US law.
Solomon and Teeter describe themselves as members of the Boogaloo Bois, one of a growing number of radical right-wing organizations in the US that is composed principally of disaffected white males.
The group “espouses a violent ideology and an objective to overthrow the government,” US Attorney Erica H. MacDonald said in the Justice Department statement.
“The defendants believed their anti-US government views aligned with those of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization, and actively developed plans to carry out violence in Minnesota and elsewhere,” she said.
The FBI began investigating Solomon and Teeter during the unrest in the Twin Cities that followed the death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis on May 25.
The pair are allegedly members of a Boogaloo Bois subgroup called the “Boojahideen,” whose “stated goal,” according to the Justice Department, is “overthrowing the government and replacing its police forces.”
While openly carrying weapons in a residential neighborhood of Minneapolis, Solomon and Teeter encountered the key witness in the case against them — an individual they believed was an agent of Hamas.
“According to the allegations in the criminal complaint and law enforcement affidavit, in early June, the FBI received information about Solomon, Teeter, and other members of the Boogaloo Bois and the Boojahideen through a confidential human source (CHS), whom the defendants believed to be a member of Hamas,” the Justice Department explained. “In audio-recorded conversations, Solomon and Teeter expressed that Hamas shares anti-US government views that align with their own views. Solomon and Teeter also expressed their desire to employ themselves as ‘mercenaries’ for Hamas as a means to generate cash for the Boogaloo Bois/Boojahideen movement, including funding for recruitment and purchasing land for a training compound.”
The two men shared with the witness and with “another individual whom they believed to be a more senior member of Hamas (and who was actually an undercover employee of the FBI), their ideas about destroying government monuments, raiding the headquarters of a white supremacist organization in North Carolina, and targeting politicians and members of the media,” the statement said.
Solomon and Teeter also spoke of their ability to manufacture unmarked parts for guns and create unregistered and untraceable weapons, including suppressors, the statement revealed.
“On July 30, the pair delivered to the individual they believed to be a senior member of Hamas five suppressors and expressed their desire to manufacture additional suppressors and fully-automatic weapons for Hamas,” the statement said. “Solomon and Teeter later negotiated with the individual a price of $1,800 for five additional suppressors. Solomon and Teeter also delivered to the individual a ‘drop in auto sear’ (DIAS), a part designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically. Solomon and Teeter believed the suppressors and the DIAS would be used by Hamas overseas to attack Israeli and U.S. soldiers.”
The affidavit in the case quoted Solomon as saying on one occasion: “Here’s the thing. I want to take down twenty senators while they’re playing f—ing baseball, right? I don’t want to blow up a courthouse. I want to murder a bunch of US politicians. That’s the statement I want to make.”
The next hearing for Teeter and Solomon will take place on Wednesday via video conference.