Federal charges: New Brighton man one of two ‘Boogaloo Bois’ who tried to aid Hamas amid George Floyd unrest

Federal authorities in Minnesota have charged two men who are self-described anti-government “Boogaloo Bois” with attempting to provide material support to the Middle Eastern militant group Hamas, in the aftermath of the unrest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.Michael Robert Solomon, 30, of New Brighton, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, of Hampstead, N.C., were charged by the U.S. attorney’s office with one count each of conspiring to provide and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Solomon and Teeter made their first court appearances via videoconference Friday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. They were both appointed federal defenders, but attorneys were not immediately assigned to comment on their behalf.
“Michael Solomon and Benjamin Teeter proclaim themselves to be members of the Boogaloo Bois, a group that espouses a violent ideology and an objective to overthrow the government,” U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald said in a statement on the charges. “The defendants believed their anti-U.S. government views aligned with those of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization, and actively developed plans to carry out violence in Minnesota and elsewhere.”
According to the criminal complaint and an affidavit, during the rioting that followed the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of police, Solomon was openly carrying a firearm in a residential neighborhood in Minneapolis. Teeter had traveled to Minnesota from North Carolina, according to federal authorities, to take part in the unrest and widespread rioting and looting.
Solomon and Teeter interacted with a witness over several days of the unrest in the Twin Cities, according to the criminal complaint.
Benjamin Teeter
That witness later told the FBI, which began investigating the two in late May, that they possessed firearms and substantial quantities of ammunition. The two and other members of the Boogaloo Bois and another group called the “Boojahideen” talked about committing acts of violence against police and other targets.
Boogaloo supporters, who use the movement’s name as a slang term for a second civil war or collapse of civilization, frequently show up at protests armed with rifles and wearing Hawaiian shirts.
Solomon and Teeter expressed an interest in acting as “mercenaries” for Hamas as a way to provide funding for their activities, according to federal authorities. They later conveyed this to an individual they believed was associated with Hamas but was a source for the FBI. The militant Palestinian group is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.Solomon and Teeter also noted their ability to manufacture unmarked parts for guns and create unregistered and untraceable weapons, including suppressors or silencers, according to authorities.
They also mentioned a desire to destroy government buildings and monuments, according to the criminal complaint. At one point, they considered blowing up a courthouse in northern Minnesota, and also killing U.S. politicians.
On July 30, Solomon and Teeter delivered to an individual they believed to be a senior member of Hamas five suppressors and expressed their interest in making additional weapons, including fully automatic weapons for the group. They later negotiated with the individual a price of $1,800 for five additional suppressors, according to the criminal complaint.
They also delivered a “drop in auto sear” (“DIAS”), a part designed for use in converting a firearm to shoot automatically. Solomon and Teeter believed the suppressors and the DIAS would be used by Hamas overseas to attack Israeli and U.S soldiers, the criminal complaint said.
“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 Demers. “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. They failed.”
The case is a result of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter, and trial attorneys George Kraehe and Phil Viti of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
The FBI is continuing to investigate active leads concerning Solomon’s and Teeter’s ties to others.

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