MINNEAPOLIS — After trying to capitalize on the civil unrest in Minneapolis this summer, two members of anti-government Boogaloo Bois attempted to sell untraceable machine guns and unregistered silencers to Hamas, an international terrorist group, to be used in attacks against United States and Israeli soldiers overseas, according to a new indictment announced by federal prosecutors in Minnesota Friday.
Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, met with an undercover FBI agent, who they believed to be a senior member of Hamas, on July 30, according to federal court documents. The two men delivered silencers and a “drop in auto sear” — a device that converts semi-automatic weapons into illegal machine guns — to the undercover agent. They said they could make untraceable weapons and gun parts, and negotiated to sell five more silencers for $1,800 apiece, according to court documents.
The indictment adds two new weapons counts to the criminal case against Solomon and Teeter, adding to the previous terrorism charges, for illegal possession of machine guns and silencers. Along with other federal court documents, the indictment provides detail into the role the Boogaloo Bois, a loose-knit group bent on starting the next American civil war, played during Minneapolis riots after the police killing of George Floyd and their alleged plot to enlist as mercenaries for Hamas to raise money for their movement.
Federal prosecutors say Solomon, of New Brighton, Minnesota, and Teeter, of North Carolina, are part of a group called “Boojahideen,” a subgroup of the Boogaloo Bois.
In a related indictment, another Boogaloo member, 26-year-old Ivan Harrison Hunter, is accused of firing an AK-47-style rifle 13 times into the burning Minneapolis Third Precinct headquarters while people were inside the building. Hunter is the self-professed leader of the south Texas Boogaloos Bois and traveled to Minneapolis to take part in the riots. Hunter was in contact with another member of the group that night who is charged with killing two law enforcement officers in California, according to federal court documents.
The week of the riots, prosecutors say, Solomon roamed residential neighborhoods in Minneapolis openly carrying a firearm. He and Teeter told a witness in the case they possessed more guns and substantial quantities of ammunition, according to court documents. They and other Boogaloo members “discussed committing acts of violence against police officers and other targets in furtherance of the Boojahideen’s stated goal of overthrowing the government and replacing its police forces,” the witness told the FBI.
Solomon and Teeter later told an undercover FBI agent, who they believed to be a high-ranking Hamas member, of 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, according to court documents.
With funding from Hamas, they planned to recruit more members and open a training compound, according to court documents.
Solomon and Teeter each face four charges: conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, attempting to provide the material support to terrorists and illegally possessing silencers and machine guns.
Hunter has been indicted on one count of inciting a riot.
All three men are being detained pending arraignment.
The investigation of the Boogaloo Bois was conducted by the FBI’s anti-terrorism task force, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It’s being charged as part of the U.S. Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Violent Anti-Government Extremism, launched this summer to target violence committed in the name of an “anarchist ideology.”
©2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)