By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI has warned that followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory could again engage in violence against political opponents out of frustration that the theory’s predictions have not come true.
Believers in the conspiracy theory – which casts former President Donald Trump as a savior figure and elite Democrats as a cabal of Satanist pedophiles and cannibals – played a prominent role in the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.
In a June 4 bulletin distributed to members of Congress and seen by Reuters, the FBI said its experts believe that some believers in predictions of political upheavals promoted on QAnon websites and bulletin boards believe they can “no longer ‘trust the plan.'”
Those have included predictions of disclosures about Democrats’ involvement in child-trafficking rings, Hillary Clinton’s arrest and the restoration of Trump to the White House.
Given the failure of QAnon’s predictions to materialize, the FBI bulletin warns that some QAnon adherents “likely will begin to believe” they have an “obligation” to transform themselves from “serving as ‘digital soldiers’ towards engaging in real world violence” against Democrats and “other political opposition.”
The FBI attributes at least some of a falloff in support for QAnon to the non-occurrence of events, such as Trump’s restoration, which QAnon predicted but which failed to materialize, and also to large-scale deplatforming of QAnon materials by social media companies.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Peter Cooney)