US media is reporting on what is described as the “QAnon caucus” within the Republican Party. According to a CNN report:
January 16, 2020 Donald Trump may be leaving the White House in a few days, but the umbrella of conspiracy theories he inspired is only just arriving in Washington.The chief theory known as QAnon — that the US government is run by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles only Trump can expose — began nearly four years ago as a fringe movement in the dark corners of the internet. Now QAnon has adherents in positions of power within the Republican Party and in the halls of Congress. The January 6 domestic terror attack on the US Capitol was the violent manifestation of that movement and its attendant theories — including that the 2020 election was stolen. Thousands of its adherents, steeped in years of conspiracy theories espoused by Trump, stormed the Capitol ready for violence — seemingly certain they were the ones liberating the country. Many displayed clothing and paraphernalia associated with the movement.
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The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported last week on how the conspiracy theory known as QAnon helped to influence the violent events at the US Capitol building last week. Other relevant GIOR reporting has included:
- A report last week that Twitter had removed the accounts of high-profile supporters of President Trump who promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory.
- A report earlier this month on the influence of QAnon on the Republican Party
- A report earlier this month that a newly elected member of the US House of Representatives is a supporter of QAnon.
- A report in October 2020 that Russia’s Internet Research Agency troll farm was attempting to use social media accounts to boost the role of conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon.
- A report in October 2020 that YouTube had joined Facebook and other social media companies in taking action against QAnon.
The BBC has described QAnon as follows:
At its heart, QAnon is a wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy theory that says that President Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media. QAnon believers have speculated that this fight will lead to a day of reckoning where prominent people such as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be arrested and executed.media captionTrump on QAnon: ‘They do like me’ That’s the basic story, but there are so many offshoots, detours and internal debates that the total list of QAnon claims is enormous — and often contradictory. Adherents draw in news events, historical facts and numerology to develop their own far-fetched conclusions.