A Colorado woman has been arrested for allegedly plotting with believers of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon to kidnap her son from state custody.
The woman, 50-year-old Cynthia Abcug, was arrested on Dec. 30 in Kalispell, Montana, on charges of conspiracy and second-degree kidnapping. According to an arrest warrant affidavit issued by police in Parker, Colorado, a child services caseworker reported the plot after being warned by Abcug's daughter, who had also been removed from the mother's custody.
The girl said her mom and an armed man who lived with them were planning a "raid" to kidnap Abcug's son. The warrant, which is heavily redacted, also stated that, according to the girl, Abcug believed the people who would get hurt in the raid were "evil Satan worshippers" and "pedophiles."
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that the United States is controlled by a powerful organization involved in child sex trafficking called the Deep State, and that Donald Trump was elected president to stop it.
The FBI labeled QAnon and other conspiracy theories a potential "terror threat," but that hasn't stopped President Trump from lending legitimacy to QAnon supporters both on Twitter and IRL.
The daughter told authorities that she didn't know anything about the man living in their house, except that his name was Ryan and he was "definitely part of this [QAnon] group."
"She said 'Ryan' flew in one to two week earlier to stay with them in Colorado for 'self-defense,'" the affidavit states, adding that Ryan was armed and escorted them "everywhere they went."
The girl also expressed concern that there were "lots of weapons in her home."
A Parker police detective said in the warrant that she knew Abcug from a previous case in which Abcug was suspected of medical child abuse.
"Ever since [redacted] from Abcug's care, she had 'gone a bit crazy' trying to figure out how to get him back" and got involved with QAnon, the affidavit states.
In June, Abcug said in a YouTube video from a QAnon-related channel that Child Protective Services was a "front-line for funneling in the trafficking," the Daily Beast reported.
Abcug's daughter told the caseworker that at one point, her mom only left the house to attend QAnon meetings, and she'd stopped going to therapy months ago.
A GoFundMe page raising money for Abcug to hire a lawyer for her son's custody case said that he has seizures and neurological disorders. It also alleges that CPS accused Abcug of "Munchausen by proxy ... to justify the unjustified removal of children."
The page was created by Asha Patterson, who told BuzzFeed News she is Abcug's best friend. She said Abcug turned to QAnon because "anybody who would give her a platform to speak on [about her son], she had no choice but to take it."
Abcug, who posted a $50,000 bond, is due back in court on Jan. 15.