NEW YORK, June 7, 2022 – On January 6th, 2021, our nation was assaulted – insurrectionists attacked our Capitol, and our democracy was forced under fire. Images of known antisemites and neo-Nazis, galavanting through the halls of Congress laid brand in our minds – and the very symbol of the American dream was wounded as a result. As those wounds begin to heal, and those images may fade, our spirits are working to become solidified once again. Yesterday, Enrique Tarrio, a former leader of the known white supremacist organization, the Proud Boys, along with four of his top lieutenants, were indicted on charges of seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6th insurrection. The American Jewish Congress firmly applauds the US Department of Justice and looks forward to the judicial process taking its course.
The rise of domestic terrorism, white supremacy, and extremist ideologies are polluting our way of life. As Jews, a community that has been tyrannized, persecuted against, and targetted for centuries – these tragedies resonate with us at our core. However, today marks a new chapter in the fight against hate, one in which those responsible know that wherever they go, wherever they may seek solace – they will be held accountable.
Since the Proud Boys’ inception, a top priority has been causing harm and destruction while promoting a tyrannical nationalist mindset. The organization has touted countless antisemitic tropes, has called Jews “a stain on the earth,” and has grown to become one of the most significant domestic threats affecting Jewish Communities. Overall, Proud Boys members amounted to one of the highest numbers of extremist arrests during the 2021 insurrection, which, as the American Jewish Congress has reported, contained mounds of disinformation and antisemitic conspiracy theories. Even more so, antisemitism was pervasive throughout both the in-person and online activity surrounding the attack – and has continued to rise, since.
As laid out by the Department of Justice, the case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, and the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Organized Crime Gang Section. Moreover, the FBI’s Washington Field Office will investigate further developments and charges in the case are a result of cooperation between numerous FBI Field Offices and law enforcement agencies.
In conclusion, we thank the United States Justice Department, those civil servants who carried out the critical task of charging these bad actors, and all those responsible for stopping hate at its source. While there is much to be done, this is a major step in a greater journey to achieve the closure we all seek. Together, we will all take another step to combat these extremists and their heinous ideologies. Furthermore, we will fight to ensure that those responsible for one of the darkest hours in American democracy – are held responsible – and that those events never again see the light of day.