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Were Antifa Supporters Among Those Who Overtook the Capitol Building?
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Were Antifa Supporters Among Those Who Overtook the Capitol Building?

Tweets from Lin Wood are misleading.

Viral social media posts claimed that two prominent participants in the riot that overtook Capitol Hill Wednesday were actually leftists or Antifa members:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin advanced this conspiracy as well, discussing it during an interview on Fox News, saying: “Keep in mind, we don’t know who all were the instigators in this, of these horrible things that happened today. I think a lot of it is the Antifa folks. I’ve been sent pictures of the same characters who were captured on images today storming the Capitol, as had been in protests on the other side of politics earlier in the summer.” Palin also shared an image from the protest on her Twitter and encouraged the media to “LOOK IN TO WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE.”

The man pictured in the first tweet is, in fact, a long time QAnon supporter named Jake Angeli, described as a “fixture at Arizona right-wing political rallies over the past year” by the Arizona Republic, the largest newspaper in the state. The picture of Angeli at a BLM march is cropped; the full image shows that he was carrying a sign saying,“Q sent me.” Angeli was interviewed by an Arizona Republic reporter in May of 2020 and had high praise for Trump. And shortly after the 2020 presidential election, Angeli spoke at a pro-Trump rally and claimed that the election “has not been called.”

A higher quality version of the image of the bearded man in a hoodie with Angeli shows that, contrary to what has been claimed in many of the posts, the tattoo on his hand is not a hammer and sickle: It’s a symbol from a video game called “Dishonored.” This man has not been identified, but the picture from the Philly Antifa website is of a man whom the Philly Antifa group was attempting to publicly out as a neo-Nazi in order to shame him. Analyzing the images of the two men suggests that they’re not the same person: Tattoos on their hands, for example, do not match up (On the Philly Antifa site, you can see a photo showing tattoos on the man’s right hand if you scroll to the bottom of this post). Regardless, there’s not any evidence to suggest that the man pictured with Angeli is a leftist.

Lin Wood, Sarah Palin, and others who have advanced this conspiracy theory have incorrectly identified the two men in question, and there is currently no evidence that Antifa was behind the attack on Congress undertaken by Trump supporters on Wednesday.

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Alec Dent is a former culture editor and staff writer for The Dispatch.