Were you a part of a Bible study group in Virginia last year? If so, you may have noticed that there was more discussion about weapons and taking over the government than anything Jesus said.
At least that’s what Fi Duong did with the “Bible study” he created as cover for his violent militia group. Federal prosecutors said in court on Friday that Duong, who was inside the Capitol during the attempted insurrection on January 6, used the religious excuse to plan other attacks:
In video later seen by investigators, Duong is identified in court documents as shouting “We’re coming for you Nancy” and pushing a fellow protester toward the doors on the Senate side of the building.
He and others held “Bible study” where they discussed firearms and other training, according to court documents; Duong also brought someone he described as a “three percenter” to one meeting. The right-wing Three Percenters movement, formed in 2008, is named after the false claim that only 3 percent of colonists fought in the American Revolution. Several adherents have been charged with conspiring to storm the Capitol. Duong said he had attended some rallies with the group but preferred to stay independent.
Maybe the most amusing aspect of this not-at-all funny story is that Duong’s violent plans were revealed by an undercover officer he befriended in D.C.:
They stayed in touch, and a week later Duong allegedly told the undercover officer he was part of a “cloak and dagger” group that will “build resistances… for what will inevitably come.” In March, he told associates, “Keep your guns and be ready to use them.”
He told the agent, the government alleged, that he was working on a “manifesto,” saying, “If I get into a gun fight with the feds and I don’t make it, I want to be able to transfer as much wisdom to my son as possible.” Prosecutors say he also discussed how far he could shoot on his family’s property in the event of a raid and said it could be the site of a second Waco — a reference to the deadly 1993 confrontation with federal agents in Texas.
Duong has no criminal record, and never acted on those post-insurrection plans, according to the undercover agent. Still, the fact that he was so specific about the harm he fantasized about causing, even going so far as to collect materials for destruction, is good reason to worry.
As for the Bible study, it’s not clear if Duong is a True Believer™ But whether or not he accepts Christian Nationalism, he certainly felt that a brand of Christianity gave him ample cover for his more violent intentions.
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