The US Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday announced a federal criminal complaint charging Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, with conspiring and attempting to provide material to support Palestinian militant group Hamas, APA reports citing Sputnik.
Both men were taken into custody Thursday evening and made initial appearances Friday before Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung in the US District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The defendants will remain in custody until a formal detention hearing scheduled for September 9.
“This case can only be understood as a disturbing example of the old adage, ‘The enemy of your enemy is your friend,’” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the DoJ's National Security Division in a Friday news release.
“As alleged in the complaint, these defendants sought to use violence against the police, other government officials and government property as part of their desire to overthrow the government. While planning these activities, the defendants met individuals whom they believed to be members of the foreign terrorist group Hamas. Thinking that they shared the same desire to harm the United States, they sought to join forces and provide support, including in the form of weapons accessories, to Hamas," he added.
The defendants claim to be members of the Boogaloo Bois, an extremist group with an objective of overthrowing the government, according to the DoJ.
According to allegations in the criminal complaint and law enforcement affidavit, Solomon openly carried firearms in a residential neighborhood in Minneapolis following the May 25 death of George Floyd. Both men interacted with witnesses during that time. Witnesses told FBI agents that Solomon and Teeter possessed firearms and ample ammunition and discussed committing acts of violence against police officers.
"Solomon and Teeter shared with the CHS [confidential human source] and another individual whom they believed to be a more senior member of Hamas (and who was actually an undercover employee of the FBI), their ideas about destroying government monuments, raiding the headquarters of a white supremacist organization in North Carolina, and targeting politicians and members of the media," the release explains.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).