Hundreds of people entered the Capitol. The FBI wants to identify as many of them as possible. But some of them are already clear that they are representatives of extremist movements.
It was a picture with a lot of symbolic power: the man with horns on his head poses like a bodybuilder in the seat of the President of the Senate, whose members have just been evacuated.
In this case the question arises in particular: Who is this man? But also in general: Who are the intruders who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday?
For example there is Ashli Babbit. “Nothing can stop us,” she wrote less than 24 hours before a fatal bullet in the building stopped her. “You can try and try and try again, but the storm is here and will hit DC in less than 24 hours. From dark to light.” The woman, carried out on a stretcher covered in blood and later reported as the first of four dead, had used the typical phrases of the QAnon movement. There are photos of her in the T-Shirt with the distinctive Q on it. Supporters of the QAnon movement played a big role on Wednesday.
The range of movement manifests itself in the man with horns and wolf fur. The tatoos of Wodansknot and Warhammer that Jake Angeli on his torso are popular in the right-wing scene. On his Twitter profile, the 32-year-old calls himself a “spiritual and political advisor, shaman, energetic healer, seeker of truth and servant of God”. He was “Antifa”, wrote users in the widespread attempt to shift responsibility for the unbelievable images. After all, there is an older picture that shows the man on the sidelines of a Black Lifes Matter demo. But even Martin Sellner, a figure that identifies the “Identitarian Movement” in Germany, warned against the Antifa theory: “Fake news, don’t spread it.”
The mob has taken over: “QAnon-Shaman” in front of the Senate President’s seat. (Source: Twitter)
Because the wolf man is known as the “Q Shaman”, a figure that identifies the QAnon scene. He hadn’t brought the sign “Q sent me”, seen in many other photos, to the Capitol, instead a megaphone dangled over his shoulder. There is also a photo of him in a suit, posted on his Facebook page, where he calls himself “Yellowstone Wolf”: He enthusiastically shakes the hand of one of Donald Trump’s closest confidants, Rudolph Guiliani. It came about at a rally in Phoenix, where Guiliani had also told of electoral fraud and supporters were outraged.
With Rudy Guiliani: The “Q Shaman” in a suit at a Trump attorney event in November. Angeli posts the picture on his Facebook page. (Source: Screenshot Facebook / Jake Angeli)
When he stood in the foyer of the building, a spear with a US flag on the floor, he was framed by men with long beards. It quickly became known that two were identified as members of the dissolved neo-Nazi “Traditionalist Worker Party” (TWP), and Sellner also posted a photo of one of the men in front of the TWP logo. The similarity is great, but so are the doubts about the theory: Because the tattoos do not match.
Another man with a long beard has not yet been publicly identified either, but his attitude is clear: “Camp Auschwitz” is emblazoned on his hoodie, along with the inhuman slogan in English above the entrance to the extermination camp: “Work makes you free”. He was seen several times in the front row, as well as a hooded man with cable ties. In the face of such people, the indignation is particularly great about Trump’s speech. “We love you, you’re very special,” he said to the intruders.
And it wasn’t just the convinced QAnons and the neo-Nazis of “Proud boys” in the Capitol, but also the musicians Jon Schaffer. Fans of the band “Iced Earth”, where he is guitarist, reacted horrified. On the sidelines of a demonstration in November, he had already told the “Welt”, “If someone uses violence against us, we will react accordingly. We don’t want that, but we are ready.”
And there were people like Richard Barnett. He told reporters about his coup in front of the camera. The 60-year-old from Gravette, Arkansas, is the man who made himself comfortable at the desk of Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, with his feet on the table. He left a quarter and took a letter from Pelosi. That was “not theft,” he said, after all he had paid. Also in pain: he had received irritant gas, his face was still swollen when he presented the loot from Pelosi’s desk. The day after, journalists found out: In postings he described himself as a white nationalist who is ready to die. “I was born kicking and screaming, smeared with someone else’s blood. I am afraid to walk that way again.”
At speaker Nancy Pelocy’s seat: Richard Barnett was one of the intruders and willingly let himself be photographed. (Source: SAUL LOEB / AFP via Getty Images)
Barnett was just as unnoticed as Ashli Babbit, the woman who was hit by the bullet with the US flag around the torso. Her husband called her a “true patriot” on the local television station KUSI-TV. The two run a business in San Diego. The veteran, with four missions abroad in 14 years of service, had sat on a plane the day before to support Trump.
There are photos from planes to Washington on Tuesday and they are full of people in MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) and Trump hats. Ashli Babbit had shared such a photo full of anticipation. No one would have noticed her when she rushed the Capitol. If she hadn’t been hit in the neck by a bullet from the Capitol Police, she would probably have walked out of the building unmolested. Like many who actually lead a civil life, but who instigated by Donald Trump believe that America must be saved from the state that stole the president’s election.
Many of those involved in the storming of the Capitol could soon run into problems. The Federal Police FBI has set up a page for uploading images and video material in order to identify the intruders. Not everyone walks from protest to protest with horns on their heads or proudly talks about stolen trophies.
* At this point we first wrote that she had been shot in the chest.