Two Minneapolis men were arrested earlier this week for attempting to aid the Islamic Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the arrests in a press release Friday.
Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, face federal criminal complaints for “conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”
Solomon and Teeter planned to use revenue from delivering weapons to Hamas to fund their domestic terrorist plans. The pair intended to destroy government monuments, raid white supremacist organizations, and attack police, politicians, and media members.
Solomon and Teeter allege membership to ideological group “Boogaloo Bois” and one of its subgroups, “Boojahideen.” These groups’ focus is violent uprisings leading to total government overthrow.
John C. Demers, the assistant attorney general for the National Security Division, gave a synopsis of the months-long interaction between his undercover agents and the two terrorists. Investigations began as early as May. Solomon and Teeter were present at the Floyd riots in Minneapolis.
“While planning these activities [of domestic terrorism], 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. They failed.”
Solomon and Teeter attempted to sell unregistered and untraceable weapons to the undercover agents. The two believed that Hamas would use the weapons to attack Israeli and U.S. soldiers overseas.
Hamas is an acronym for “Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah,” meaning “Islamic Resistance Movement.” The acronym is also an Arabic word for “zeal,” related to members’ belief in an ongoing holy war between Muslims and Israelites. Since its conception in 1987, Hamas seeks to establish an independent Islamic state in Palestine. The United States formally recognized Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.
Last week, a Minneapolis college student pleaded guilty to attempting to join and recruit for Al-Qaeda. Earlier this year, a Twin Cities doctor was indicted on attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Like the two men arrested this week, these individuals expressed their terrorist intentions via encrypted social media platforms.
The two men are scheduled to appear in court on September 9.
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