Extreme right-wing groups in the US are telling their members to deliberately spread the deadly new coronavirus to police officers and Jewish people, ABC news reported Sunday citing an FBI alert it obtained.
The agency has intercepted messages sent by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists encouraging infected members to try and pass on the virus to Jews by visiting “any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship,” the FBI’s New York office wrote in an alert, sent out last Thursday.
Police were also suggested targets, to be attacked with spray bottles containing body fluids.
“Members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions,” the FBI wrote, according to the report.
The Secure Communities Network, an umbrella group that coordinates protection for Jewish groups and synagogues in the US told ABC that extremists are using the coronavirus pandemic to promote their own conspiracy ideas.
“From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus virus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms,” said SCN head Michael Masters.
According to Alex Friedfeld, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism, extremists began promulgating the notion in January that the coronavirus was created by a cabal of Jews, around the time the virus was first being detected.
“The most popular conspiracy theory is that Jews are using this virus as a means for profit,” Friedfeld told The Times of Israel last week. “They are saying Jews manufactured it and are going to take advantage of the markets collapse through insider trading.”
As of Sunday there have been 30,000 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in the US, with at least 389 people dying of the disease which is caused by the coronavirus.