US Navy Veteran Who Feds Say FBI Headquarters Raid Had Online Presence Not Linked to QA

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A former Navy submarine technician was arrested after police said he drove a van to FBI headquarters near Atlanta on Monday afternoon. It is still unclear why the suspect, Ervin Lee Bolling, attempted to force entry into the headquarters, but an investigation by Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts public interest research and is shared exclusively with WIRED found that accounts believed to be associated with Bolling shared numerous conspiracy theories on social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook.

Shortly after noon Monday, Bolling crashed his burnt orange SUV with South Carolina license plates into the final barrier at FBI headquarters in Atlanta, Matthew Upshaw, an FBI agent assigned to the Atlanta office, wrote in an affidavit on Monday. Tuesday. Upshaw added that after Bolling crashed the van, he got out of the car and attempted to follow an FBI employee to the secure parking lot. When officers told Bolling to sit on the sidewalk, he refused and attempted to enter the premises again. The affidavit also stated that Bolling resisted arrest when officers later attempted to detain him.

Bolling was charged Tuesday with destruction of government property, according to court records reviewed by WIRED.

Advance Democracy researchers identified an account on The handle name is also similar to usernames on other platforms such as Telegram and Cash App, which bear similarities to a Facebook page with the name Bolling. The profile photo used on account X also resembles a photo of the same man shown on Bolling’s public Facebook profile. Account X is currently set to private, but dozens of old posts from the account are still viewable publicly via the Internet Archive.

In December 2020, account The X account associated with Bolling responded: “I’m awake. “I’m just looking for a good militia to join.”

Around the same time, social media accounts apparently associated with Bolling repeatedly pushed QAnon content and interacted with QAnon promoters, including posting a link to a now-deleted channel associated with QAnon on YouTube along with the comment: ” Release the Kraken”, live. reference to Sidney Powell’s failed legal efforts overturn the results of the 2020 elections in Georgia.

On what is believed to be Bolling’s Facebook account, there were also several posts related to anti-vaccine memes.

The accounts also posted in support of former President Donald Trump. In December 2020, “I Love You” was posted in response to a post on X by former President Donald Trump that falsely claimed the election was rigged by Democrats.

Courtney Bolling, identified as the suspect’s wife on Facebook, did not respond to requests for comment by phone or messages sent to her social media profiles. There is no registered legal counsel for Bolling.

It remains unclear how Bolling came to embrace these beliefs, but far-right groups and extremists have used social media platforms for decades as a way to spread conspiracies and radicalize new members. In recent years there have been numerous examples of far-right groups making claims or threats online which have been quickly followed by violence in the real world.

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