MINNEAPOLIS (WECT) - A Hampstead man, who federal prosecutors say is a member of an anti-government extremist group known as the Boogaloo Bois, pleaded guilty in a Minneapolis court on Wednesday to federal terrorism charges.
Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to provide material support and resources, namely property, services and weapons, to Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization. Prosecutors say a sentencing date will be scheduled at a later time.
Authorities began investigating the Boogaloo Bois after learning that some members were discussing violence and were armed during the unrest in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd.
According to court documents, Teeter and his co-defendant, Michael Robert Solomon, spoke with a confidential informant with the FBI whom the pair thought was a member of Hamas. In recorded conversations, Teeter and Solomon said Hamas and the Boogaloo Bois shared similar anti-government views and sought to employ themselves as mercenaries for the group to help fund the Boogaloo movement.
Teeter and Solomon met with the confidential informant several times during the summer, according to prosecutors.
During a meeting on June 14, Teeter discussed ways to assist Hamas including using explosives to destroy government buildings, identifying a courthouse in northern Minnesota they believed was a suitable target.
Solomon and Teeter would later meet an undercover FBI employee, whom they believed to be a more senior member of Hamas, and offered to build firearms suppressors and other weapons for the group. They believed the suppressors they sold went to Hamas to be used overseas to attack Israeli and U.S. forces, according to court documents.
“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.”