The FBI has issued a public warning about violent online groups that target minors on messaging platforms and encourage them to live-stream acts of self-harm and produce child sexual abuse material. The warning comes after the discovery of a satanic cult.
The FBI’s advisory, issued last month, is the first formal mention of a group known as 764, an offshoot of the Order of Nine Angles, a violent, subversive amalgam of esoteric Hitler worship, satanism and Wiccan tenets, by any American law enforcement agency.
The agency learned about the group after the arrest of Angel Almeida, a 23-year-old resident of Astoria, Queens, on gun possession charges in November 2021, according to The Guardian.
The groups target minors between the ages of 8 and 17, particularly those with mental health issues, the FBI said, adding they use threats, blackmail and manipulation to get their victims to record or live-stream self-harm, sexually explicit acts, and even suicide. The footage is then circulated among members to extort victims further and exert control over them.
Members of these groups communicate mainly on Telegram but also use platforms like Roblox, Discord, Twitch and SoundCloud. They gain notoriety and rise in status within their groups by sharing violent videos and images.
Documents and sources indicate that the Order of Nine Angles is a group recognized by American authorities as having a terrorist ideology. The O9A was established in the early 1970s by British neo-Nazi activist David Myatt and has been active on social media since 2008, according to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, which says O9A followers are encouraged to commit random acts of extreme violence, sexual assaults and the “culling” of human victims to accelerate the breakdown of the current Judeo-Christian Western system.
The 764 group has a network of a couple of thousand participants and hundreds of highly active members who generate and disseminate the bulk of child pornography and gore videos. The group involves people around the world, including the U.K. and Germany.
ISD adds, “Between April 2019 to April 2021, HOPE not Hate recorded eight neo-Nazis convicted of terror offenses in the U.K., with two further linked to O9A or in possession of O9A material pending judgement. The majority of cases involved young, male teenagers.”
Almeida, who was found competent to stand trial last month, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted. Federal prosecutors have filed a superseding indictment against him, adding charges related to child exploitation and enticement of minors.
The FBI has urged the public to exercise caution when posting personal photos, videos and identifying information online. They have also recommended looking out for warning signs indicating a minor might be experiencing self-harm or suicidal ideations.
In addition to possession of child pornography, Almeida is accused of attempting to lure two underage girls into sexual activity, the New York Post said. One of whom he allegedly targeted for the purpose of producing and disseminating child sex abuse material.
Almeida’s trial is set to begin on Dec. 4.