The Justice Department has arrested two members of the far-right anti-government “Boogaloo Bois” movement, with one charged in connection with an attempted riot in Louisville to coincide with the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January.
Adam Turner, 35, and John Subleski, 32, both from Louisville, Kentucky, were arrested on Thursday by the FBI.
Mr Subleski has been charged with inciting a riot and committing an act of violence to encourage a riot in the city, “through the use of social media and other electronic communications.”
The FBI has alleged that while attempting to incite a riot alongside members of the Boogaloo-affiliated group, United Pharaoh's Guard (UPG), Mr Subleski posted on social media: “Time to storm LMPD (Louisville Metro Police Department).”
Mr Sublseki, alongside members of the affiliated group, allegedly pointed rifles at drivers, barricaded roads and blocked intersections in Louisville on 6 January.
The 32-year-old was also filmed firing his rifle at a vehicle that managed to make its way through one of the barricades he had helped set up.
The incidents took place on 6 January, while a mob of pro-Trump supporters breached the US Capitol, causing House members to barricade themselves in offices to hide from the rioters.
Five people died and several more were injured in the insurrection. A week later, and a week before leaving office, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House for inciting the riots at a “Save America” rally nearby.
The “Boogaloo Bois” are a loosely termed group of right-wing extremists who either expect or want to incite the “boogaloo,” a second American civil war.
Many members espouse openly white supremacist and neo-Nazi views. Most of them are loyal supporters of Mr Trump and all are all staunchly pro-gun.
Mr Turner, who identifies as a member of both the "Boogaloo Bois" and UPG, was arrested for a separate incident on 25 December 2020, when he is alleged to have participated in a protest caravan that confronted police officers.
He has also been accused of later making threats to law enforcement personnel on social media, and was arrested for openly carrying an AR-pistol and charged with menacing and resisting arrest.
Acting US attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, Michael A Bennett, released a statement following the arrests, writing: “I commend the outstanding work of the Louisville FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and our state and local law enforcement task force member agencies.”
He added that they “work tirelessly every day to identify, locate, and apprehend for prosecution individuals who jeopardise the peace and safety of the citizens of the Western District of Kentucky.”
Mr Subleski and Mr Turner are both scheduled for preliminary hearings on 17 February, and could face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 (£181,273) fine each.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies