- Followers of the QAnon movement have set up camp in Arizona, per The New York Times.
- The QAnon adherents are trawling the border looking for migrant children crossing into the US.
- The group believes the children are being sex-trafficked by a satanic cabal of pedophiles.
A new report by The New York Times has revealed how QAnon adherents are trawling the southern border to find and intercept children crossing over into the US.
The Times visited some followers of the QAnon movement who have been camping out near Arizona and operating as a vigilante border patrol force. QAnon adherents believe in a conspiracy theory that claims former President Donald Trump is fighting against a satanic cabal of pedophiles.
According to The Times, the group was seen intercepting a group of 15 migrant children from Guatemala, who were then shepherded to a campsite where they were provided food. There, a man named Jason Frank gave them “Let’s Go Brandon” shirts bearing images of President Joe Biden, after which the children were rounded up and made to pose for a group photo.
Per The Times, Frank’s group believes the children are being sex trafficked across the border and formed an armed organization to intercept them right when they cross into America.
“They are being trafficked, sex trafficked. That’s the No. 1 trade,” Frank, 44, told The Times. “The money, that’s where it’s at now.”
The Times reported that Frank, a minor influencer in QAnon circles, has been at the border since April in a borrowed RV, in which he stores a trove of firearms. Frank and his group seek out children struggling to get across gaps in the border wall, luring them to them with food and then broadcasting their arrival on Facebook.
At press time, Frank’s Facebook page had been deactivated.
The Times also spoke to Mia Bloom, an expert on extremism, who said that the children were being used as a “prop” for the group to spread their message. “They are instrumentalizing the children for internal propaganda and to further their political agenda,” Bloom told the outlet.
Frank’s claims about the border and child sex trafficking appear unsupported by evidence.
“We haven’t heard about migrant children brought in to be sex workers or slaves,” Stacey Sutherland, an official with the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network, told the Times. “At the border, it’s overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled.”
Margo Cowan, a public defender in Arizona’s Pima County, told The Times that she found the group’s actions “extremely dangerous.” Meanwhile, Chris Nanos, Pima County’s sheriff, called the “QAnon types” patrolling the border “nut jobs,” but said it was a matter for the US Customs and Border Protection agency to handle.
The CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
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