A January 6 rioter is leading an armed national militia from prison

A January 6 rioter is leading an armed national militia from prison

Wired reports:

Years after being accused of swinging a baseball bat at police officers during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, Edward “Jake” Lang is now using encrypted messaging channels to create a nationwide network of armed militias in all 50 states.

Though he has been in prison for over 1,200 days, Lang is working with a network of election deniers and conspiracists to promote the North American Patriot and Liberty Militia, or Napalm for short. The group officially launched last week with 50 state-specific militia groups on Telegram.

Lang claims that the Telegram groups already have 20,000 members, including pastors, farmers, former military personnel, and currently serving sheriffs. However, multiple experts who reviewed the channels tell WIRED that figure was wildly overestimated, and that the real figure was closer to 2,500 members. But a group this size, they warn, is still large enough to cause a serious threat. And while unarmed members are welcome, the group is, at its core, a pro-gun organization. “We are pro open carry, pro always have it on you, rather than waiting for somebody else to be able to defend your life,” says Lang.

As the 2024 US election approaches, Lang says that Napalm will be focusing on potential “civil unrest” around the vote. “We have to make sure that we’re prepared for any real-time scenarios, any eventualities,“ says Lang. “Civil unrest at any given moment, especially around an election time, is something that could come along, and so we have to plan for that contingency as well.” [Continue reading…]

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