The Trump administration is warning law enforcement and public safety officials that a far-right extremist movement known as “boogaloo” may be setting its sights on the nation’s capital.
On Monday, the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium (NTIC), a fusion center for Washington, D.C. that provides support to federal national security and law enforcement agencies, warned in an intelligence assessment that “the District is likely an attractive target for violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology due to the significant presence of US law enforcement entities, and the wide range of First Amendment-Protected events hosted here.”
The assessment, dated June 15 and obtained by Politico, reported that “recent events indicate violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology likely reside in the National Capital Region, and others may be willing to travel far distances to incite civil unrest or conduct violence encouraged in online forums associated with the movement.”
A senior DHS official forwarded the assessment to security stakeholders on Friday, noting that “while it identifies Washington D.C. as an attractive target, the boogaloo ideology is not restricted to a specific region and those who wish to cause division are routinely using peaceful protests as means of cover. Heading into a weekend of more planned protests, we believe this information to be useful to all of our membership.”
Separately on Friday, DHS published its own intelligence note assessing that “domestic terrorists advocating for the boogaloo very likely will take advantage of any regional or national situation involving heightened fear and tensions to promote their violent extremist ideology and call supporters to action.”
The note, dated June 19 and obtained by Politico, aims to “provides information regarding some domestic terrorists’ exploitation of heightened tensions during recent First Amendment-protected activities in order to threaten or incite violence to start the ‘boogaloo’—a colloquial term referring to a coming civil war or the fall of civilization.”
Participants in the boogaloo movement generally identify as anarchist, pro-Second Amendment members of citizen-militias who are preparing for a second Civil War or American revolution, extremism experts say. Several boogaloo adherents have been charged in recent weeks for acts ranging from felony murder to terrorism, and police last month seized military-style assault rifles from so-called “boogaloo bois” in Denver.
The DHS note says boogaloo tactics “likely will be repeated in future similar incidents wherein domestic terrorists attempt to shut down or endanger government operations, judging from domestic terrorists’ continued calls for attacks.”
And the NTIC assessment is the first known government confirmation that suspected “violent adherents of the boogaloo ideology” may reside in D.C. and have an abundance of potential targets.
“These individuals may target law enforcement as violent adherents have in other parts of the country, and motivated adherents have an increased number of targets given the concentration of law enforcement agencies in the region,” the memo reads.
It cites planning documents shared by boogaloo adherents online, including military manuals, CIA handbooks, “and revolutionary literature which provides instructions on bomb-making.” And it says that other documents shared by the boogaloos refer to national guard depots, police stations and factories that produce munitions as “very solid targets.”
The assessment is striking given the public emphasis President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have placed on alleged violence carried out by adherents of the left-wing ideology antifa, while refusing to specifically identify and denounce the far-right groups like boogaloo that have been have been charged in recent weeks for acts ranging from felony murder to terrorism.
“It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left,” Trump tweeted on May 30. “Don’t lay the blame on others!” Barr similarly homed in on the anti-fascist protest movement the following day, in a statement presented from the Department of Justice in D.C.: “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.”
To date, no federal charges have been filed against individuals linked to antifa—violent acts at Black Lives Matter protests, including setting police cars on fire, have been attributed to individuals with no clear political or ideological affiliation, according to charging documents.