A Virginia man is facing several criminal charges after he allegedly admitted to an undercover federal agent that he stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while dressed to look like an anti-fascist activist and discussed details about his own nascent militia group that had been casing Congress in the months following the riot, according to federal court documents.
In a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, federal authorities revealed that an undercover FBI operative had developed a relationship with defendant Fi Duong following the Capitol siege, embedding himself in Duong’s militia-like group for several months. Several pages of the FBI’s affidavit detail Duong’s alleged interest in Molotov cocktails, a phrase that appears more than a dozen times in the document.
“The recipe that I have. This is just from my own study and from looking at sources that I will not yet name,” Duong is quoted as telling an undercover FBI operative in May, months after the siege of the Capitol, while explaining exactly how he planned to make the homemade incendiary devices. “But again, this is all just in theory. I have not tested any of this out.”
Duong is not accused of any violent acts or actually using the weapons, but authorities cite them to illustrate his alleged rhetoric in favor of political violence, preparing for what he called “the second American Civil War.”
After President Joe Biden nominated David Chipman to lead the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Duong allegedly told the FBI operative that his property could turn into “Waco 2.0,” apparently referring to the 1993 standoff of the Branch Davidian compound with cult leader David Koresh, according to court papers.
According to the complaint, Duong on Jan. 13 told the undercover agent that he was filming rioters inside the Capitol while “wearing all black in an effort to look like a member of Antifa.” Short for anti-fascist, “antifa” is a catch-all term for an amorphous collection of left-wing activists. Those who oppose the movement tend to depict it as a group, rather than an inchoate collective.
While Duong purportedly jockeyed into infiltrate antifa, the FBI quickly became part of Duong’s group, which was referred to as “a Bible study,” but included “firearms and other training events” such as physical fitness training, “hand-to-hand combat,” and training in driving skills. The group also had their own private chat server “to ensure the group could have more secure communications.”
During a group meeting at Duong’s home in late-March, he allegedly told attending members that he was inside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 but was careful to make sure that he kept a mask on at all times to avoid being identified by law enforcement.
An associate described in court documents as a member of the far-right militia group Three Percenters “addressed Duong’s group at a meeting at his house in Alexandria, Virginia on March 20, explaining that some of the people that went into the Capitol were smart and wore a mask, and as a result, law enforcement could not identify them,” according to the complaint.
Three Percenters get their name from the myth that it represents the portion of colonists who participated in the American Revolution, a notion debunked by historians.
“In response, Duong raised his hand and laughed, stating ‘I was wearing all black and wearing two different kinds of masks,’” the complaint stated.
Duong then provided a description of the “Japanese style mask” he wore, which authorities were then able to match against publicly available footage from inside the Capitol.
In April, Duong allegedly confirmed that several videos from the Capitol that had been posted to the video-sharing website Dailymotion had originally been filmed by him.
“In the video sent on April 2, 2021 of Duong’s activities inside the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Duong records individuals on the West Terrace of the building breaking windows and doors to the U.S. Capitol building. While on the West Terrace, Duong is surrounded by other protestors yelling comments such as ‘Everybody inside,’ ‘Stop the steal,’ ‘Fight for Trump,’ and ‘Traitor,’” the complaint stated.
The FBI’s affidavit describes Duong’s alleged conversations with the operative, identified as an “undercover employee”—or UCE—in the document.
“Duong explained to UCE that he climbed the wall of the U.S. Capitol before he entered it,” the affidavit states. “Duong confirmed that one of the voices heard yelling in the videos was Duong’s voice. He said, ‘I was screaming and yelling so my voice was shot to hell.’ UCE asked if the yelling of, ‘This riot is only a peel of the onion [phonetic], we have millions!’ was Duong, and Duong confirmed it was.”
The undercover operative also claimed that in addition to training and preparing for what he called “the second American Civil War,” one of the main objectives of Duong’s militia group was to provide additional surveillance of the U.S. Capitol, which was discussed between Duong and an unnamed member of the group referred to as “Associate 1” on an encrypted messaging app. Per the complaint:
ASSOCIATE 1: “How do we feel about an Intel run around the Capitol tonight? Fewer of them out. Posture may be lowered. Good opportunity to expose weaknesses.”
DUONG: “Poke and prod. But have a legitimate reason to go. Visit a restaurant or something. Get something cheap. Walk around a bit.”
DUONG: “The macro game plan will be non-compliance. Force them to be heavy handed in there [sic] response.”
Duong also allegedly claimed to have written a manifesto to ensure his legacy.
“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. I’ve got the manuscript, I’ve got my, what do you call it, I can’t even think of the word. It’s like what a lot of serial killers write, their manifestos,” Duong allegedly wrote. “I’m writing my manifesto to my son about, like, don’t be consumed by the propaganda, always fight, always go against the grain, most people are fucking stupid.”
Duong is currently facing charges of disorderly conduct, obstruction, and remaining on restricted grounds with the intention to impede Congress. His lawyer Sabrina Shroff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Read the full complaint below.
[image via FBI]
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