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Extremist groups suspected to possibly be acting in riots and looting

Ellen Galles
Updated: June 02, 2020 11:02 PM
Created: June 02, 2020 04:42 PM

Earlier this week, 28-year-old Matthew Rupert from Illinois was charged with civil disorder in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd. 

Part of what incriminated him were the Facebook videos he posted passing out explosives and encouraging others to throw them at police. Rupert had already moved on to riots in Chicago when he was arrested by federal authorities there.

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Rupert has not been publically identified with a known extremist group, but his arrest is a reminder that not all actors hiding in the crowd are local and some might have a different agenda than the rest.

"Many times they turn a peaceful protest into a violent confrontation," said Michael Rozin with Rozin Security.

Rozin has made a career out of studying the actions of extremist groups. Though ideologies may differ, one element is the same: extremist groups can take advantage of a public crisis or event to undermine the government.

"They want to break down trust in the government's ability to provide basic services and that's how they become successful. That's what they are aiming for here," said Rozin.

That's often why infrastructure, like post offices and grocery stores, can be targeted.

Sunday night, Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said they'd gotten reports, posters and flyers indicating that white supremacists were operating in the area.

"We believe there is a presence out there, we are mindful of these groups. It can be one person or two people that bring in the others and create 'groupthink,'" Schnell said.


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