QAnon Figures Fear 'False Flag,' Warn Followers Against September 18 Rally

Leading figures in the radical QAnon movement are telling supporters not to attend a rally at the Capitol demanding "justice" for people charged over the January 6 riots.

Officials in Washington, D.C. are preparing for the possibility that hundreds of extremists will be in the capital on September 18 to attend "Justice for J6"—an event organized by Matt Braynard, a former Donald Trump campaign worker.

Capitol Police have said they are aware of "concerning online chatter" that far-right groups are planning to return to the U.S. Capitol building. The department said it would put up a security fence around the building ahead of Saturday's rally.

It has also requested back-up from outside law enforcement officers and the National Guard "should the need arise."

Ahead of the rally, a number of influential figures in the QAnon movement have warned supporters not to attend, because they fear the event is actually a setup to ensnare conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and other extremists.

Ron Watkins, the former administrator for messageboard site 8kun who is thought by some to have played the mysterious figure known as "Q", wrote on Telegram that the September 18 rally had "a very high probability of becoming a false flag" event.

"I won't be naming the event. I do not endorse the event. I hope none of you attend," Watkins added. "Do yourself a favor and stay away from D.C. on September 18."

Attorney Lin Wood, a popular figure in the QAnon movement who has more than 814,000 followers on Telegram, wrote a lengthy post warning people to stay away from "Justice for J6." Wood also continued to falsely suggest that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and the results could be overturned in several states.

"I think a large rally in D.C. this weekend is a BAD idea," Wood wrote.

"While I know there is public sentiment among Americans related to the individuals in jail from January 6, I think a rally on that issue at this time is a BAD idea.

"I would urge ALL to avoid D.C. on September 18 and focus on small community rallies over the next several weeks calling for audits of the 2020 vote."

Sidney Powell, another QAnon-supporting lawyer who worked with Wood on the widely derided "Kraken" lawsuits, also urged people to stay away from D.C. over fears of potential violence.

"As much as we support the defendants of Jan 6 and vehemently object to the brutality they have been dealt, we cannot help but be concerned that the planned protest of September 18 is D.C.," Powell said. "[It] will be used by the wrong people to cause violence and mayhem we do not want and certainly don't need."

Elsewhere, the We The Media Telegram channel, a collection of QAnon advocates that has more than 240,000 followers, accused the rally of actually being organized by the FBI.

"If, after knowing what we have learned to date, any of y'all are dumb enough to actually attend this latest FBI sponsored FF [false flag] patriot picnic then you deserve whatever happens to you," the group wrote.

The far-right Proud Boys group made a similar comment about September 18, with one of its chapters describing the rally as "bait" on Telegram.

"If you rally in D.C. right now, you're an idiot and you're going to get people thrown in jail or worse," the group added.

Although there are no real indications that Saturday's rally will be anywhere near as highly attended as the January 6 protests that preceded the storming of the Capitol, police are not taking any chances.

"We are here to protect everyone's First Amendment right to peacefully protest," said Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger. "I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said police seemed "much better prepared" for the September 18 rally than they did before January 6.

"I think they're ready for whatever might happen," he added.

Capitol Police and D.C. Police have been contacted for comment.

september 18 rally qanon
A Capitol Police officer stands near the U.S. Capitol on September 13. QAnon advocates are warning people to stay away from the September 18 "Justice for J6” rally in D.C. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images