“QAnon is really ripe territory for recruitment,” said Jessica Reeves, editorial director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. At the heart of that crossover, Reeves told The Daily Beast, are shared conspiratorial beliefs between QAnon followers and other militant sects. That mingling was on full display at the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when Jacob Chansley, better known as the “QAnon Shaman,” allegedly stormed the building alongside members of paramilitary groups.
But some of the intermingling began long before Trump’s election loss. In the run-up to voting, members of far-right paramilitary groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers endorsed elements of the discredited theory.
“The militia and anti-government side is probably where you’re going to see the most crossover,” Reeves said, adding, “There’s a very conspiratorial idea about government power that’s shared between anti-government extremist groups and QAnon people.”