Federal prosecutors say man used a Bible study group as cover for militia

The pro-Trump mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The pro-Trump mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Jon Cherry/Getty Images

A 27-year-old Marine Corps veteran from Arlington, Virginia, accused of participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot later formed a militia group that pretended to be a Bible study, The Washington Post reports.

Fi Duong is charged with illegally entering the Capitol, obstructing the vote count, and disorderly conduct. He appeared in court on Friday, and while prosecutors asked for stricter terms, U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey released him to home confinement, pending trial. At the time of his arrest, Duong had several guns in his possession and materials to make 50 molotov cocktails, court records show.

Details of the case against Duong were made public on Tuesday. Federal prosecutors say that Duong met an undercover federal agent during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and described himself as an “operator,” explaining that he was wearing all black so people would think he was an anti-fascist protester. Duong allegedly entered the Capitol, delivered a letter to lawmakers, and shouted “We’re coming for you Nancy,” referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), prosecutors said.

The undercover agent kept in touch with Duong, and after Duong talked about freeing arrested rioters from prison, the pair went to a jail in Lorton, Virginia, where Duong talked about testing explosives, prosecutors allege. A Bible study that Duong formed was actually a cover for a militia group, and during meetings people talked about firearms and training, court documents say. Duong allegedly told the undercover agent he was working on a manifesto so 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.”

Duong was building a supply of explosives, federal prosecutors said, and he told the undercover agent he wanted to use molotov cocktails to disable armored vehicles. He delayed his plans to try the explosives, and that is one reason why Harvey released him to home confinement. The undercover agent gave Duong “every opportunity to step over the line, and at every point he chose not to,” the judge said. “Someone who showed so much concern for what the legal lines are should be given the opportunity to show he can continue to stay within the lines.” An attorney for Duong declined to comment to the Post.

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