- Followers of the QAnon movement have set up camp in Arizona, according to The New York Times.
- QAnon adherents are scouring the border for migrant children crossing into the US.
- The group believes that the children are being sexually trafficked by a satanic cabal of pedophiles.
A new report from The New York Times has revealed how QAnon adherents are combing the southern border to find and intercept children crossing into the US.
The Times visited some followers of the QAnon movement who have been camping out near Arizona and operating as a border enforcement force. QAnon followers believe in a conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump is fighting a satanic cabal of pedophiles.
According to The Times, the group was seen intercepting a group of 15 migrant children from Guatemala, who were then herded into a camp where they were provided with food. There, a man named Jason Frank gave them T-shirts that read “Let’s Go Brandon” with pictures of President Joe Biden, after which the children were gathered together and posed for a group photo.
According to The Times, Frank’s group believes the children are being sex-trafficked across the border and formed an armed organization to intercept them just as they cross into the United States.
“They are being trafficked, sex trafficked. That’s trade number one,” Frank, 44, told The Times. “The money, that’s where it is now.”
The Times reported that Frank, a minor influence in QAnon circles, has been on the border since April in a borrowed mobile home, in which he keeps a trove of firearms. Frank and his group seek out the children struggling to get through the gaps in the border wall, lure them with food, then broadcast their arrival on Facebook.
At the time of publication, Frank’s Facebook page had been deactivated.
The Times also spoke to Mia Bloom, an expert on extremism, who said the children were being used as “props” for the group to spread its message. “They are instrumentalizing children for internal propaganda and to further their political agenda,” Bloom told the outlet.
Frank’s claims about the border and child sex trafficking appear to be unsupported by evidence.
“We haven’t heard of immigrant children being brought in to be sex workers or slaves,” Stacey Sutherland, an official with the Arizona Human Trafficking Network, told the Times.. “At the border, it’s overwhelmingly the people who paid to be smuggled.”
Margo Cowan, a public defender in Arizona’s Pima County, told The Times that she found the group’s actions “extremely dangerous.” Meanwhile, Chris Nanos, the Pima County Sheriff, called the “QAnon guys” patrolling the border “crazy” but said it was a matter for US Customs and Border Protection to handle.
CBP did not immediately respond to an Insider request for comment.