(STL.News) United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald and National Security Division Assistant Attorney General John Demers today announced the guilty plea of BENJAMIN RYAN TEETER, 22, to conspiracy to provide material support and resources, namely property, services and weapons, to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. TEETER, who was charged via a superseding indictment on November 6, 2020, pleaded guilty today before Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A sentencing date will be scheduled at a later time.
“The defendant was a self-described member of the Boogaloo Bois whose extremist ideologies had moved into the realm of violent action,” said United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald. “I am grateful for the quick and effective action by law enforcement to keep our community safe.”
“This case 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,” said Michael Paul, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office. “Preventing terrorist attacks is the FBI’s number one priority and the primary mission of our Joint Terrorism Task Forces. 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.”
According to documents filed with the court, in late May of 2020, the FBI initiated an investigation into TEETER and co-defendant Michael Robert Solomon, 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 TEETER’s guilty plea and documents filed with the court, in early June, the FBI received information about TEETER, Solomon, 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, TEETER and Solomon expressed that Hamas shares anti-U.S. government views that align with their own views. TEETER and Solomon also expressed their desire to employ themselves as “mercenaries” for Hamas to generate cash for the Boogaloo Bois/Boojahideen movement, including funding for recruitment and purchasing land for a training compound. TEETER admitted in his guilty plea that he knew Hamas was a designated foreign terrorist organization, and that the organization had engaged and was engaging in terrorist activity or terrorism.
According to TEETER’s guilty plea and documents filed with the court, throughout the summer of 2020, TEETER and co-defendant Solomon met with the CHS on multiple occasions.
On June 14, 2020 TEETER met with the CHS and proposed ways to assist Hamas including using explosives to destroy government buildings in the United States. In exchange, TEETER sought financial backing from Hamas for the Boogaloo Bois. On June 18, 2020, TEETER identified to the CHS a courthouse in northern Minnesota that TEETER and Solomon believed was a suitable target for destruction. On June 19, 2020, TEETER and Solomon met with the CHS and continued to discuss, among other topics, the plot to destroy a courthouse.
On June 28, 2020, TEETER, Solomon, and the CHS, met an undercover employee of the FBI (“UCE) that TEETER believed was a member of Hamas. During this meeting, TEETER and Solomon proposed manufacturing suppressors, untraceable firearms, and fully automatic firearms for Hamas.
On July 6, 2020, TEETER and Solomon purchased a drill press for the purpose of manufacturing suppressors for Hamas. TEETER admitted in his guilty plea that he planned to produce suppressors, some of which could be sold to others. TEETER and Solomon brought the drill press to Solomon’s home and later used the drill press to manufacture five suppressors. TEETER and Solomon delivered the five suppressors to the CHS and UCE on July 30, 2020, believing those devices would be used by Hamas. During that meeting, TEETER and Solomon agreed to manufacture additional suppressors for Hamas believing that the next batch of suppressors would be used against Israeli and United States military personnel overseas.
TEETER and Solomon again met the UCE on August 29, 2020. During this meeting TEETER and Solomon gave the UCE a 3-D printed “auto sear” believing that the auto sear would be used by Hamas to convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic rifles. At this time TEETER and Solomon agreed to obtain, and did obtain, another order of auto sears for the CHS and the UCE.
This case is 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 against defendant Michael Robert Solomon are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.