The arrest of 10 armed men and one juvenile from Rhode Island on I-95 near Wakefield this weekend has caused both shock and confusion.
That confusion continued today as some of those men refused to cooperate in court during their arraignments. One cited his second amendment right to bear arms. Another, who refused to identify himself, called himself a "Free Moor."
The investigation is ongoing and the details are still not complete. But we know eleven members of a Rhode Island-based group called Rise of the Moors, several of whom were wearing weapons and dressed in paramilitary gear, had a multi-hour standoff with state troopers who discovered them apparently refueling vehicles on Route 128 early Saturday morning on their way to Maine for what they say was "training."
The incident challenges notions of domestic extremism and militias as things that happen elsewhere, but not in New England.
We discuss this evolving story with Joan Donovan, research director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, which tracks online extremism.
This segment aired on July 6, 2021.