FBI posted conspiracy theories to notorious internet message board…and got caught


by Andrew West, Freedom OutPost:

Much of what the Federal Bureau of Investigation actually does is shrouded in secret, certainly, but now and again we get a small glimpse into the darker corners of their behavior.

Much like the CIA, the FBI is given a wide berth by both the American people and other governmental authorities.  The lack of scruples we see in other nations’ governments must be guarded against, of course; the United States just prefers to keep their defensive mechanisms a little more clandestine than most.

As such, we often find ourselves wondering what exactly these intelligence agencies are up to some days.

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As it turns out, some of these mystery maneuvers are aimed directly at the American public.

The unsealing of an application for a search warrant by the federal government on 8chan’s servers has unintentionally revealed that a federal agent has been trolling the site and attempting to redirect the users’ conspiracy theories against the Russian government instead of the CIA or Mossad.

The legal case stems from the April 27th shooting at a California synagogue by white supremacist and 8chan user John Earnest. The day of the shooting, Earnest is believed to have posted to 8chan a link to an anti-Semitic Pastebin manifesto and a not-so-cryptic suggestion that he was about to commit a murderous act of violence to back up his beliefs. In the accompanying affidavit to the search warrant application, FBI Special Agent Michael J. Rod requests the “IP address and metadata information about Earnest’s original posting and the postings of all of the individuals who responded to the subject posting and/or commented about it. Additionally, agents seek information about any other posting coming from the IP address used by Earnest to post the subject posting.”

Here’s where it gets wild.

In Appendix 1, Rod attaches a serious of screen caps from an 8chan thread that took place the day of the synagogue attack (it is not ultimately clear that Earnest took part in this thread). What is notable is that next to the “Anonymous” user label on some of the posts is a “(You)” marking:




As it turns out, this text is to let the user know that they are looking at their own posts! This means that Special Agent Rod inadvertently exposed himself as 8chan user ID “8f4812” by including these screenshots as his supporting exhibit. As it turns out, a more complete version of this thread was saved on archive.is before it was deleted. By using Ctrl+F on the page and inputting “8f4812”, you can look at all the posts made by the FBI in this thread.

The FBI’s monitoring of 8chan is to be expected, as the site and its precursor 4chan are both notoriously dark corners of the internet where several domestic terrorists were known to be posting previous to their rampages.

But what the Bureau did here was much different, and included posting long, conspiracy-laden rants:

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