The alleged director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, is doing his best to avoid digging into “QAnon” and whoever is behind the mysterious movement. He insists that there’s nothing to see there. Meanwhile, skeptical Americans suggest that what he’s really trying to stop is an investigation which would lead right back to the bureau.
FBI is not investigating QAnon
When Christopher Wray was grilled on Capitol Hill in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday he stunned the public by revealing that the FBI is not probing the controversial “QAnon” movement or those behind the mask of online anonymity.
Twice in two days he admitted that he’s worried about “potential violence incited by QAnon” but he keeps telling congress “the bureau is not investigating the online movement” even though they take QAnon ties to criminal acts seriously. He doesn’t seem to want the world to find out that the Federal Bureau of Instigation is behind the flood of misleading and inflammatory misinformation spewing from the group’s easily manipulated followers.
Wray was obviously careful to highlight the distinction during his testimony under oath. House lawmakers kept pressing him on “whether the FBI is investigating elements of QAnon.” They also “asked to explain the threat it poses given its connection to the US Capitol attack earlier this year.”
The only thing Wray would commit to was an acknowledgment that QAnon is an online “movement,” and in some instances, “may be an inspiration for violent attacks.” He made sure to say he has no idea who puts people up to those attacks and also appears not to want to know.
The FBI, Wray insists, can only probe QAnon as far as connections it has to a particular “federal crime.” They can’t just go out and find who’s behind the mask. “We’re not investigating the theory in its own right,” he explains.
The last thing the director wants congress speculating about is: “Who feeds these people the information they need to get together with like-minded maniacs to perform some home-grown domestic terrorism on “cue” to be busted by the bureau in a high profile way?”
Blame it on social media
Potentially dangerous conspiracy theories get blown out of proportion on social media, Wray notes. He allegedly knows because he probably is in charge of the secret units which pour gasoline on the fires. “Social media has become, in many ways, the key amplifier to domestic violent extremism just as it has for malign foreign influence.” It turns out that the FBI gave a classified threat assessment of QAnon to lawmakers in February but very few people know about it.
Senator Martin Heinrich is one of them. He demands to know why “the details of that report have not yet been made public.” He also happens to be a Democrat from New Mexico, not some deplorable conservative Republican. He sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of the ones who ordered the report.
All Wray would allow himself to be pinned down to is a promise that the FBI will see what they can release publicly but it will probably take a while. A long, long while. “We focus on the violence and the federal criminal activity regardless of the inspiration.”
Why waste time figuring out who put them up to it when they already know it was them. “We understand QAnon to be more of a reference to a complex conspiracy theory or set of complex conspiracy theories, largely promoted online, which has sort of morphed into more of a movement.”
Some say that anyone who gets sucked into the web of interconnected chat rooms gets assigned to their very own FBI troll. From there, the more radical ones get introduced to each other with a few suggestions here and there as to possible missions.
It’s like a big role-playing game until it stops being a game. “Let’s kidnap a governor” for example. Or “Barbarian invasion of the Capitol Building.” The one thing they all have in common is that these events go off right on “Q.”