Idaho authorities in the town of Coeur D’Alene arrested 31 men believed to be a part of the radical Patriot Front group. They were stopped after someone called 911 and reported them loading a U-Haul outside a hotel dressed like a “little army.” However, internet sleuths noticed something interesting stickered to the side of one of the megaphones when police later arrested the group.
The group’s truck was later pulled over and they were arrested on their way to disrupt the Pride in the Park event at the Coeur d’Alene City Park, according to Police. The event featured a Pride parade, food, and several drag artists.
People on the internet quickly pointed to something seen in the photo below. In it, the officer is seen taking a megaphone from one of the men and on the side of it is a sticker that clearly says “F.B.I.” In the slightly harder to read letters above, it also seems to say “Abolish.” The entire sticker likely reads “Abolish F.B.I.”
Many Conservatives believe the group is part of the FBI because of the way they look and their extensive coverage in the news media. This hasn’t been confirmed, but that has not stopped the online rumor mill.
“We had some information that there might be some, some individuals who are loosely affiliated with the some of the groups who were planning to protest the Pride event that day, and so we were adequately staffed for it, but we didn’t have any intelligence that there was going to be a riotous group coming to this event prior to the 911 call that we received,” Police Chief Lee White said about the arrest of the men.
Major Jim Hammond also mentioned that they seemed “to not have a purpose.” He also confirmed they did not have any firearms – although police found one smoke grenade.
“I have not seen that these people had any firearms, so I think it would’ve been mostly just disruption and trying to cause fear,” said Police Chief Lee White.
The group was dressed in their trademark khaki pants, blue shirts, and blue hats with white face masks. They also had “shields, shin guards and other riot gear.”
“It is clear to us, based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession in the U-Haul with them, along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” White said.
“I think some of us were a bit surprised by not only the level of preparation that we saw, but the equipment that was carried and worn by those individuals, along with the large amount of equipment that was left in the van when the stop happened,” White said at a news conference Monday. “That level of preparation is not something you see every day.”
Patriot Front leader Thomas Ryan Rousseau was arrested during the disturbance, according to Kootenai County sheriff’s Sgt. Shane Moline.
There have long been rumors that extremist groups have been infiltrated by the FBI. It would not be surprising considering the unraveling plot guided by federal assistance over the thwarted kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In the case, a majority of the members of the conspiracy were tied to the FBI. Do you think the Patriot Front is being used by the FBI? What would they be used for? Tell us your thoughts below.