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New data map illustrates connections between January 6th defendants and extremist groups

START releases networking map for visualizing January 6th relationships

START’s Radicalization and Disengagement team has launched an interactive data tool illustrating connections between Jan. 6, 2021, defendants and their links to extremist networks.

As of January 2023, more than 300 defendants who have been criminally charged for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the United States Capitol have been identified as having connections to over 50 contemporary extremist groups and movements, including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and the QAnon conspiracy theory, as well as other less populous entities.

The January 6th defendants collectively form more than 900 links to these groups and each other. The Capitol insurrection network map displays these relationships, helping users identify the ideologies and networks that played a central role in the attack. START researchers have also created interactive infographics that highlight key characteristics of the defendant population.

To be included in the network map, a defendant must have a link to an extremist group or movement that was established prior to Jan. 6, 2021, and that connection must be documented in court records, news articles, or other open sources. A connection between a defendant and a group/movement was made if the individual was a formal member of an extremist group (e.g., Proud Boys and Oath Keepers), self-identified as a member of an extremist movement that does not have a formal membership process (e.g., QAnon and Three Percenters Movement) or publicly praised an extremist group or movement prior to the January 6th attack. Links between defendants were made if there is evidence in open sources that the individuals communicated with each other, in person or online, prior to Jan. 6, 2021.

The Capitol insurrection network map only includes individuals who have been charged with criminal offenses in state, local, or federal court for participating in the attack on the Capitol. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The Capitol insurrection network map is available here.

Interactive infographics portraying data about the defendant population can be found here.

Please direct any media inquiries to Deanne Winslett, START Communications and Transition Manager, at winslett@umd.edu.