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No, Antifa Didn't Storm The US Capitol: Man In Headdress Identified As Far-Right QAnon Shaman Jake Angeli

Photo: Alex Gakos / Shutterstock
Jake Angeli

Udpate 1/10/21: Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as Jake Angeli, was arrested and taken into custody Saturday, January 9, 2021 on violent entry and disorderly conduct charges according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mr Chansley, who calls himself the QAnon Shaman, was allegedly the man pictured with a painted face, fur hat and horns inside Congress on Wednesday.

Sophie Long, a reporter for BBC News, interviewed Chansley and asked if the protest had been infiltrated by far-left disrupters. He told Long that there were no members of Antifa or any other left-wing organizations present in or around the Capitol building on 6 January. It was "patriots doing what our founding fathers would have done". The reason he knew that was "because Antifa are cowards who have no commitment to their country or their cause".

Some of the most striking images from the Capitol riots was a man in a horned helmet forcing his way into several restricted areas in the US Senate. 

While Jake Angeli, a known QAnon supporter, was joining the pro-Trump mob at the Capitol radical conservatives were attempting to spread baseless claims that the “radical left” group Antifa was leading the riots. 

Jake Angeli, an Arizona-native, is known amongst pro-Trump circles.

His headdress and elaborate face paint is a staple at Trump rallies and QAnon protests. 

The conspiracy theorist was seen shirtless, with the American flag painted across his face. He brandished a spear as he sat in the chair that had been occupied by Vice President Mike Pence just moments before the riot began. 

Who is Jake Angeli?

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Twitter has called Angeli “buffalo head guy” but who is the man underneath the headdress and how is he the proof that the right is to blame for the Capitol siege? 

He is known as the ‘Q Shaman’.

Across his social media and at far-right events, Jake Angeli calls himself the Q Shaman. 

Since at least 2019, he has regularly appeared chanting outside the Arizona Capitol, spreading disproven QAnon conspiracy theories to locals.

The aspiring singer and actor makes a mockery of Native American culture by using traditional headdresses as justifications for his “shamanism” while espousing white supremacist theories. He has said the costume is to attract attention when he talks about QAnon. He drives a car covered in messages of QAnon praise and support of the disproven “pizzagate” theory.

He made it clear Antifa was not behind the riots.

Trump and several other Republicans repeatedly attempted to amplify unfounded claims that Antifa was leading the siege on the Capitol across social media.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin cited some of the pictures of the events as “evidence” that leftists were behind the attack. The only evidence she had for these claims was that some protesters wore helmets and knee pads, which she said she hadn’t seen before at Trump rallies.

Meanwhile, Jake Angeli denied any association to Antifa after leaving the Capitol. 

Tweeting in response to claims that he had ties to Antifa and the BLM movement, Angeli espoused his support for QAnon and his rejection of the BLM movement. 

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He is a regular at MAGA rallies.

Angeli is a public supporter of Trump.

In February 2020 he worked outside a Trump rally, shouting his praise for the president and holding a sign saying “Q sent me”. 

Angeli spoke at protests in Arizona in November 2020 to dispute the presidential election results.

He blamed the media for spreading lies about the election and told a crowd waving Trump flags and wearing MAGA hats that the media engages in “black magic” to divide the country. 

Other pro-Trump figures attended the riot.

Apart from Angeli, many spotted another key figure in the images from the Capitol. 

Matthew Heimbach white supremacist, neo-Nazi with ties to several far-right groups was also in attendance. 

Heimbach is best known for setting up the Traditionalist Workers Party, a far-right neo-Nazi group. 

The group ceased operation in 2018 when Heimbach was arrested for assaulting Matt Parrott, a co-founder, and his father-in-law after Parrott found Heimbach having an affair with Parrots wife— Heimbach’s mother-in-law.

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Alice Kelly is a writer who covers news and trending topics.