Minneapolis, MN – A self-described member of the Boogaloo Bois has pleaded guilty to allegations he conspired to help provide weapons and other support to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis on Dec. 16, 2020, and pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Minnesota said in a press release.
“The defendant was a self-described member of the Boogaloo Bois whose extremist ideologies had moved into the realm of violent action,” U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald said in the release. “I am grateful for the quick and effective action by law enforcement to keep our community safe.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis Field Office Michael Paul said the case against Teeter “highlights the real threat posed by domestic violent extremists who self-radicalize and threaten to violently attack others opposed to their views, with little or no warning.”
“Preventing terrorist attacks is the FBI’s number one priority and the primary mission of our Joint Terrorism Task Forces,” Agent Paul said. “The FBI and its task force partners will persist in using every investigative tool available to identify, assess and disrupt those willing to compromise the safety of our neighbors and communities.”
The investigation into Teeter, who is from North Carolina, and his alleged accomplice, 30-year-old Michael Robert Solomon, began in May of 2020, according to court documents.
Both suspects are “Boogaloo Bois,” part of a “sub-group” known as the “Boojahideen,” according to federal prosecutors.
Boogalo Bois are anti-government extremists who want to engage in a civil war called the “boogalo” in which they overthrow the U.S. government.
Early in June of 2020, the FBI received information about the suspects from a confidential source who the suspects believed was a member of Hamas, court documents said.
Solomon and Teeter allegedly confirmed in audio recordings that they share Hamas’ anti-U.S. government views and “expressed their desire to employ themselves as ‘mercenaries’ for Hamas” in order to generate money for their own Boogaloo movements, according to prosecutors.
Teeter admitted in court documents that he and Solomon met with the informant on multiple occasions throughout the summer, to include brainstorming ways in which they could destroy U.S. government buildings using explosives, the press release said.
The duo also met with an undercover FBI employee they believed was a member of Hamas in late June, and offered to manufacture “suppressors, untraceable firearms, and fully automatic firearms for Hamas,” according to prosecutors.
They began purchasing equipment to build the suppressors days later.
Investigators said Teeter and Solomon built five suppressors and delivered them to the undercover FBI employee and the confidential informant on July 30, 2020, “believing those devices would be used by Hamas,” according to the press release.
They also allegedly agreed to build another batch to be used against U.S. and Israeli troops overseas, prosecutors said.
Investigators said the suspects manufactured and delivered a 3-D printed “auto sear” to help Hamas “convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic rifles,” and later obtained more auto sears for the supposed Hamas operatives, according to the press release.
According to court documents, Solomon and Teeter talked about attacking law enforcement officers, politicians, and other potential targets, the Associated Press reported.
They also discussed plans to blow up a courthouse in northern Minnesota, but ended up focusing on a Minneapolis/St. Paul metro-area courthouse instead.
The duo allegedly showed up armed to the violent riots that erupted in Minneapolis in the wake of the in-custody death of George Floyd, WETC reported.
The federal charge against Solomon is still pending, according to prosecutors.
Teeter has not yet been sentenced.