Philadelphia Police Investigating Alleged Plot to Attack Convention Center During Ballot Count

Photograph of the Hummer owned by the suspects in the plotted attack. (Image via WPVI-TV)

As this tight election heads into its first weekend, tensions in states build across the nation. Pennsylvania, being a key background state, has been one of these victims. Philadelphia police are in an ongoing investigation on the alleged plot to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the location of where votes are being counted.

What We Know:

  • The Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) received a tip of suspicious activity that could have affected the Convention Center area. A group of armed people with a silver Hummer truck who is said to be a family from Chesapeake, Virginia, had intentions of “straightening things out” at the Center. At 10 p.m. local time, officers spotted the Hummer in question and sent an alert out over police radio.
  • According to ABC affiliate WPVI-TV, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said 42-year-old Joshua Maciasand and 61-year-old Antonio Lamotta, both of Chesapeake. They have two charges pending, carrying a firearm on public streets and/or property, a first-degree misdemeanor, and possession of a firearm without a license, a third-degree felony.
  • Inside the Hummer was another weapon, said police. What’s been reported as of late were handguns such as a 9-millimeter pistol and an AR-15. A woman was also with these men, but she was not placed under arrest. Officials say that no injuries have been reported and that the PPD has an ongoing investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • The vehicle used by the suspects was spotted earlier Friday morning on 13th Street near Vine. On the Hummer was a sticker and a hat with the logo for the internet group QAnon. QAnon is known for spreading conspiracy theories. At this time, the FBI has categorized this incident as a domestic terror threat.
  • There have been roughly 24 congressional candidates in this election that give credit to conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon. “At this time we do not have indication that the story is bigger than two individuals,” Krasner stated Friday.
  • Mail-in ballots have been one of the main focuses in this election so far and have spawned a plethora of suits by the Republican Party over counting. Many counties across Pennsylvania continue to count millions of mail-in ballots, heavily favoring Democrats, in what could be the cherry on top for Biden if won.

Past this incident, Philadelphia officials noted that barricades were moved throughout the city, citing concerns over worker safety amid the pandemic and the potential for civil unrest. U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond spoke to Trump campaign and city officials to work it out, but much remains unclear about what side is following the rules.

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