Fierce prosecutors have cracked down on two miscreants who are accused of providing material to overseas terrorists from a small-Minnesota town, Your Content has learned.
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a four-count superseding indictment charging Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization (Hamas) and firearms violations.
Solomon and Teeter, who were initially charged via federal criminal complaint on September 3, 2020, will be arraigned before a Magistrate Judge in U.S. District Court at a later date.
According to the superseding indictment and documents filed with the court, in late May of 2020, the FBI initiated an investigation into Solomon and Teeter, two members of the “Boogaloo Bois,” and a sub-group called the “Boojahideen.”
The Boogaloo Bois are a loosely- connected group of individuals who espouse violent anti-government sentiments.
The term “Boogaloo” itself references an impending second civil war in the United States and is associated with violent uprisings against the government.
According to the superseding indictment and documents filed with the court, during the civil unrest in the Twin Cities following the death of George Floyd, according to a witness, Solomon was openly carrying a firearm in a residential neighborhood in Minneapolis.
The devious duo interacted with the witness over the course of several days. The witness told FBI agents that Solomon and Teeter possessed firearms and substantial quantities of ammunition and that Solomon, Teeter, and other members of the Boogaloo Bois and Boojahideen discussed committing acts of violence against police officers and other targets in furtherance of the Boojahideen’s stated goal of overthrowing the government and replacing its police forces.
According to the superseding indictment and documents filed with the court, in early June, the FBI received information about Solomon, Teeter, and other members of the Boogaloo Bois and the Boojahideen through a confidential human source (“CHS”), whom the defendants believed to be a member of Hamas.
In audio-recorded conversations, Solomon and Teeter expressed that Hamas shares anti-U.S. government views that align with their own views.
The two defendants also expressed their desire to employ themselves as “mercenaries” for Hamas as a means to generate cash for the Boogaloo Bois/Boojahideen movement, including funding for recruitment and purchasing land for a training compound.
According to the superseding indictment and documents filed with the court, Solomon and Teeter shared with the CHS, and another individual whom they believed to be a more senior member of Hamas (and who was actually an undercover employee of the FBI), their ideas about destroying government monuments, raiding the headquarters of a white supremacist organization in North Carolina, and targeting politicians and members of the media.
According to the superseding indictment and documents filed with the court, Solomon and Teeter also expressed their ability to manufacture unmarked parts for guns and create unregistered and untraceable weapons, including suppressors.
On July 30, Solomon and Teeter delivered to the individual they believed to be a senior member of Hamas five suppressors and expressed their desire to manufacture additional suppressors and fully-automatic weapons for Hamas.
From there, the two later negotiated with the individual a price of $1,800 for five additional suppressors.
Solomon and Teeter also delivered to the individual a “drop in auto sear” (“DIAS”), a part designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically.
Solomon and Teeter believed the suppressors and the DIAS would be used by Hamas overseas to attack Israeli and U.S soldiers.
Under federal law, suppressors must be registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
On August 29, 2020. Solomon and Teeter knowingly possessed a device which converts a semi-automatic rifle into an illegal machine gun.
In a separate, related case, Ivan Hunter, 26, was indicted by a grand jury on November 4, 2020, on one count of riot.
Hunter, who was initially charged via federal criminal complaint on October 23, 2020, will be arraigned before a Magistrate Judge in U.S. District Court at a later date.
Hunter, Solomon and Teeter have been ordered to remain in detention pending further proceedings.
These cases are the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter, and Trial Attorneys George Kraehe and Phil Viti of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the cases.
These cases fall with the purview of the Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Violent Anti-Government Extremism. Launched in June 2020, the Task Force is dedicated to supporting the investigation and prosecution of any person or group who commits violence in the name of an anarchist ideology.
The charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.