But similar posts pushing baseless claims of arrests and “deep state” action kept appearing on 4chan. It’s unclear who was behind the posts, or if the ones that followed were posted by the same person — 4chan posts are anonymous.

Believers claim that their “Q” is so knowledgeable because of their claim to security clearance within the US government.

QAnon supporters have likened the initial posts, and subsequent ones, to Hansel and Gretel-like breadcrumbs, or “drops,” as they call them now.

Since then, the group has injected itself into the mainstream by creating communities on Reddit and finding footholds on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. In a series of videos posted online in 2018, QAnon targeted Cemex, a Mexican cement company, because it reportedly owned an abandoned camp in Arizona, which conspiracy theorists erroneously believe is the location of a human trafficking site.