How unwitting Americans encountered Russian operatives online

The Heart of Texas group had more success with a Houston rally to “Stop the Islamization of Texas,” which provoked an angry confrontation in May 2016. United Muslims of America, another Russian creation, called its own rally to “Save Islamic Knowledge” for the same time and place, outside the Islamic Da’wah Center.

A dozen people who turned out for the first event, some carrying rifles, Confederate flags and a banner saying “White Lives Matter,” faced off across a street with a far larger crowd of counterprotesters. The police kept the crowds apart, and there was no trouble at the event, which was caught on video.

Later, on social media, some puzzled participants complained that no one from Heart of Texas, which had about 250,000 likes on Facebook, had shown up for the group’s own rally.