QAnon: Trump’s dangerous conspirators are also growing in Germany


Q-Anon: This is how Trump exploits the dangerous ideology

QAnon supporters were also involved in the storming of the Capitol. The crude ideology is also finding more and more supporters in Germany.

12.01.2021, 20:15

Dirk Hautkapp, Theresa Martus and Christian Unger

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Washington/Berlin. Jacob Chansley stands in front of the microphone and warns of the “new world order”. He makes up the story of “underground stations” operated by the government. He rants about the “manipulation by the media”. He is angry because “a ring of pedophile elites” has created a “deep state”.

Chansley wears a fur hat with buffalo horns, his face is painted blue, white and red. Against the “diabolical forces” of which he speaks, only an “occult force” would help, on the side of God. In his hand is Chansley, who describes himself as a “Q-Shaman” Jake Angeli calls, a spear with a shield. “Q sent me!” It says there. “Q” sent him.

They are pictures from the summer, from a campaign event in Arizona. Back then, Chansley was one of the bizarre characters in the world US election campaign. He reappeared last week, with fur and horns, this time in Washington. Chansley storms the Capitol with thousands of others. With him there should have been hundreds of other followers of “Q”.

Trump is a redeemer figure for QAnon supporters

Roughly summarized, the supporters of “Q” believe in a worldwide conspiracy of elites – the so-called “deep state” – which, according to the story, kidnaps and tortures children in order to gain a substance from their blood that is supposed to guarantee eternal youth. Donald TrumpBelieve the followers of the cult, fight to expose this network. Information about this fight was provided by his close environment “Q”: allegedly a high-ranking, anonymous source (“QAnon“) From a US government agency.

The “Q” myth is a child of the Internets: This is where “Q” spreads his theses, there his followers network. They meet on so-called image boards like “8kun” or platforms like “Speak“Or” Gave “. Almost everyone posts anonymously, unlike Twitter, for example, it is hardly possible to track a user using encryption.

But the ideology has also found its way onto mainstream platforms: According to its own statements, Twitter deleted more than 70,000 relevant accounts of Q-Anon followers after the storm on the Capitol.
The myth – for which there is no evidence – also has numerous followers in Germany. A few years ago, in the context of the yellow vest protests, people who count themselves among the supporters of “Q” appeared.

Corona pandemic triggers influx for QAnon

But the number of followers has grown, especially since the beginning of the pandemic, an analysis by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation shows. On the messenger service Telegram According to this, one of the channels with the widest reach that spread the story had around 21,000 subscribers in March. Three months later it was more than 111,000, now it is almost 160,000. On the day of the riot at the Capitol, a user posted there Propagandavideo with the title: “Trump and we, the people, are the storm.” Another channel, with 60,000 subscribers, adorns itself with the portrait of the still-US president in a burning Q as a profile picture.

The US President is the idol of the movement – and apparently does not feel uncomfortable in this role. Once when asked about QAnon, Trump replies that he doesn’t know much about the movement that is doing the FBI referred to as a manifestation of domestic terrorism. But he heard that QAnon people “love our country and like me very much, which I appreciate”.

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Trump’s departure could paradoxically increase the violence of the QAnon movement

German supporters of the movement also see the still-US president as a redeemer figure. Some of the chats contain elaborately produced videos. Trump is staged with a machine gun in hand. In addition, the lettering in English: “The hunters become the hunted.” The title of the video: “The news is fake, the war is real #NoNegotiate”.

Many of the posts cross the line for the ridiculous, but experts warn not to take the movement seriously. The narratives would often amount to tribunals for the alleged ones Conspirators and her death says Right-wing extremism-Expert Miro Dittrich. “We have different factors here that make it very likely that violence will follow,” he says. On the one hand, there is the alleged impending doom, which plays an important role in conspiracy narratives. That creates a pressure to act, says Dittrich. “And if you believe that all opponents are children torturing Satanists, then that lowers the inhibition threshold, violence to exercise against these people. “

Also terrorismResearchers like Peter Neumann from King’s College in London fear a growing propensity for violence. “My concern is: After the end of Trump’s presidency, the QAnon movement will be even more dangerous,” Neumann told our editorial team. Many followers are due to the violence Kapitol been deterred, but a radicalized core would now be more ready to strike. Trump had spurred the scene. “On the other hand, he also had a moderating effect as long as he was in office,” emphasizes Neumann. “Now he’s gone soon – and there is for them Radicals the movement no longer has any reason for restraint in the fight against the government, against the institutions of the state. Now the entire state is the enemy. “

QAnon followers appear at lateral thinker demos

In Germany, supporters of QAnon have so far been noticed mainly in the context of lateral thinking and corona denier demonstrations. “Conspiracy myths fall on fertile ground for many in Germany,” says Neumann. “That also shows the importance of Reich Citizen-Scene that is very similar to the QAnon movement in its rejection of the elite and the high level of armed need. ”Lots of followers, lots of weapons – and training with police or military: It is these factors that worry experts.

After the riots at the Capitol, there were calls for their own Demonstrations the movement in Germany – but the echo was very subdued. Neither in Hamburg nor Berlin, where protests had been announced, did the police register such events. On the Hamburg Alsterufer, where a demonstration should have taken place, joggers and strollers could be seen on Sunday evening. But no “Q” believers.
Jacob Chansley, the self-proclaimed “shaman”, was arrested on Saturday. He is charged with illegal entry into a specially secured building as well as violent entry and improper behavior on the Capitol grounds.

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