A 31-year-old Minnesota man is the second member of the Boogaloo Bois extremist group to plead guilty to federal terrorism charges stemming from the unrest following George Floyd's death.
Michael Solomon, of New Brighton, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to provide material support and resources to what he believed was the terrorist group Hamas but was really an FBI informant, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Solomon and Benjamin Teeter, 22, of North Carolina, had gotten on the FBI's radar last summer after they were seen carrying guns at the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis.
The FBI began investigating the pair and in June 2020 they met with undercover FBI agents and confidential informants who they believed were members of Hamas, offering to manufacture suppressors, untraceable firearms and fully automatic firearms for the terrorist group in an effort to further the goals of the Boogaloo Bois.
"Honestly, the money was if nothing else more just to keep prepping, to purchase more firearms, more ammunition, more body armor just to prepare for what … we always called the 'shit hitting the fan,'" Solomon told U.S. District Judge Michael Davis in court, according to the Star Tribune.
Solomon and Teeter were charged with a superseding indictment in early November, both accused of attempting to provide and conspiring to provide material support to Hamas, among other charges. Teeter pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group.
Solomon will be sentenced at a later date.
What are the Boogaloo Bois?
The Boogaloo Bois is a far-right extremist movement of loosely connected groups that support anti-government sentiments and are associated with violent uprisings ("Boogaloo" references an impending second Civil War in the U.S.), the Department of Justice says.
Members of the "overwhelmingly white online subculture" have shown up at protests, including in Minneapolis, heavily armed and wearing Hawaiian shirts, says the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups in the U.S.
In court, Solomon said he was aware of five Boogaloo Bois members who traveled to Minneapolis after he posted on Facebook about providing armed security for Black Lives Matter protesters, the Star Tribune said. He also estimated about 120 people were part of a Minnesota-related Boogaloo Bois Facebook group last year.
The movement started as a meme, which emerged in the early 2010s in antigovernment and white power online spaces with many calling for a race war, SPLC says. The term "boogaloo" is now regularly used by white nationalists and neo-Nazis "who want to see society descend into chaos so that they can come to power and build a new fascist state."
In June, the center said over the past month at least seven men associated with the movement had been arrested in the U.S. for possession of weapons and plotting violent attacks.