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8-Year-Old French Girl Kidnapped In QAnon Conspiracy Plot As The Far-Right Group Spreads To Europe

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Mia Montemaggi Kidnapped Poster

Back in April, an 8-year-old French girl named Mia was found in an abandoned factory in the Swiss municipality of Sainte-Croix after being kidnapped from her grandmother's house. 

Her 28-year-old mother, Lola Montemaggi, was arrested along with five others accused of helping her with "Operation Lima" — an international child abduction plot planned and funded by an extremist French group that has uncanny similarities to the far-right QAnon movement in the United States.

The case is thought to be the first European crime linked to QAnon conspiracies.

Lola Montemaggi kidnapped her daughter in a QAnon-inspired abduction.

The child's grandmother, Montemaggi's mother, was given custody after the French government's child protective services deemed Montemaggi unstable. The judge told Montemaggi she could see her daughter twice a month at their house in Les Poulières, and that she wasn't allowed to visit alone.

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On April 13th, a gray Volkswagen pulled up to the grandmother's house, and flashed "official-looking paperwork" at the older woman.

The two men claimed to be doing a welfare check on Mia "for the government," and asked the child's grandmother to let them take her away for an "interview." It wasn't until the elderly woman called child protective services to confirm that she realized the men were actually kidnappers. 

Lola Montemaggi and others created "Operation Lima" to steal Mia back.

It's said that a user on a far-right messaging app, Telegram, advised Montemaggi to contact a disgraced French politician named Rémy Daillet-Wiedemann to "help" with her custody woes.

Daillet-Wiedemann's name was floating around French Telegram QAnon chats around the same time as he was calling to overthrow France’s government, resist the “medical dictatorship” of COVID19 restrictions, and protect children from the "government-linked pedophiles in their midst."

According to François Pérain, the prosecutor who led the abduction investigation, Daillet-Wiedemann was living in self-imposed exile in Malaysia for years. Despite this, he still had a network composed of a few hundred supporters at his disposal.

Once Montemaggi contacted Daillet-Wiedemann, he told a supporter to "make a plan" for Mia and another French child. Pérain said the supporter was wired 3,000 euros to cover transportation and equipment fees.

"Operation Lima," which is an anagram of Montemaggi and Mia's names, consisted of Montemaggi and five men between the ages of 23 to 60. A sixth member was a retired lieutenant-general of the French military who forged paperwork for the mission. That same officer was later detained in a plot to attack vaccine centers. 

Lola Montemaggi has a history of QAnon-ties.

According to fellow protesters, Montemaggi previously participated in France’s 2018 anti-government "Yellow Vest movement." Over the next few years, she openly discussed her "awakenings" on Facebook and voiced her distrust of French politicians. 

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As France entered coronavirus lockdowns, Montemaggi's beliefs took a darker turn as she was convinced of theories such as "population control" 5G towers and government-led child trafficking rings meant to abuse children or extract their "essence for eternal youth." Following these personal convictions, Montemaggi pulled Mia out of school. 

Montemaggi thought France's laws "no longer applied to her."

Montemaggi became convinced that the French government was "illegitimate." Much of her beliefs stem from the sovereign citizen movement, which like QAnon, started in the U.S and is composed of anti-government extremists. 

Over Telegram, Montemaggi reportedly messaged someone saying, “There are no laws above us except for universal law. There are no government laws. You have to understand that."

The woman enlisted other believers in a Telegram group and often tried to set up meetings. She reportedly told the people in her life that she was planning to go "under the radar" with her daughter. 

On Monday, judges finally agreed to Montemaggi's requests to be freed until trial.

Yet in the aftermath, concerns about QAnon's global influence are readily growing. Europe's umbrella policing agency, Europol, has already added the conspiracy movement to its list of threats.

QAnon rhetoric was also tracked to 85 countries, and it's believed countless theories have been adapted to languages ranging from Hindi to Hebrew.

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Yona Dervishi is a writer who is currently working at YourTango as an editorial intern. She covers topics pertaining to news and entertainment.