Newly unveiled documents show that white supremacist groups planned on weaponizing COVID-19 and using it against minorities and law enforcement.
On Saturday, Yahoo! News released a federal law enforcement intelligence brief dating back to the week of February 17-24. Federal law enforcement had been monitoring communications of white supremacist groups via the app Telegram – which is popular amongst Neo-Nazis. Fed’s found discussions in which white racially motivated violent extremists (WRMVEs) stated what they would do if they caught COVID-19.
The white nationalists said that it was their “OBLIGATION” to spread the virus and to specifically target “law enforcement and minority communities” and target public spaces as well. They planned on spreading the virus by spitting on elevator buttons, leaving saliva on door handles at FBI buildings, using spray bottles, and leaving laced items at crime scenes.
Members were even willing to travel to China and bring the virus back to the U.S. The brief reads: “This possible threat can likely happen due to the fact that WRMVEs have been known to travel abroad to adapt foreign terrorists’ tactics (FTOs). It is likely that they would be willing to travel to China to bring the coronavirus back to the U.S.”
The document also shows that many members of the white supremacist groups began to take the coronavirus seriously, way before Trump did. The U.S. only had 34 cases of COVID-19 on February 21. Trump downplayed the severity of the virus and expected the number of cases to drop to zero “in a couple days.” However, as of Saturday (March 21), there are over 21 thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.
You can read the full brief below