Former President Donald Trump left office on Jan. 20, but believers in QAnon, a baseless, far-right conspiracy theory that originated on anonymous message boards, still think he’s going to return to the White House. People who believe the conspiracy theory are now looking forward to March 4, but law enforcement says it’s aware of the threat.
March 4 carries significance for two reasons: It’s the date when the Constitution was made effective in the US, and it was the official inauguration date until it was moved to Jan. 20 with the passage of the 20th Amendment. Some QAnon believers view March 4 as the date when Trump will walk back into the White House and run the country once again.
The Capitol Police released a statement Wednesday saying they’re aware of a “possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.” The agency said it is taking this threat seriously and is upgrading security measures.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are also aware of the potential for violence on March 4, according to a joint intelligence bulletin put out by the agencies on March 2 and published by Axios on Wednesday. Extremist groups have discussed plans to conduct another attack on the Capitol similar to the , with the goal of removing Democratic lawmakers. The House of Representatives has since canceled its Thursday session because of the threat.
QAnon, a constantly shifting conspiracy theory, started in 2017, when a person using the initial “Q” claimed to have ties to Trump. Other conspiracy theorists found and amplified Q’s posts, known as Q drops, expanding the audience for the cryptic messages. Four years on, QAnon is still kicking. Understanding QAnon requires looking at how it began and what its followers believe. The hoax has already provoked violence in the real world as numerous Q followers were participants in the.
Here’s what you need to know about the weird world of QAnon.
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