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Improvised flamethrower modeled on an Elon Musk design among the weaponry found at US protests, documents focusing on the far-right reveal

May 8, 2021, 21:01 IST
Business Insider
An attendee operates a Boring Co. flamethrower at the company's photo booth during an unveiling event for the Boring Co. Hawthorne test tunnel in Hawthorne, California on December 18, 2018.Robyn Beck/Pool via REUTERS
  • Federal, state, and local documents that focus primarily on the threat of the far-right have been made public.
  • An array of deadly makeshift weapons had been found at protests during the last year, the Guardian reported.
  • One of the weapons - a homemade flamethrower - is based on a model sold by Elon Musk's The Boring Company.

Explosives, flamethrowers, and incendiary devices are some of the weapons discovered by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies outside rallies and at protests during 2020 and 2021, court documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The documents, provided to the Guardian by the transparency group Property of the People, offer descriptions of an array of makeshift weapons that had been confiscated or found at major political events.

The documents focused, primarily, on the threat of the far-right, the Guardian reported.

One such weapon was an improvised flamethrower that is said to have been taken from protesters in Erie, Pennsylvania last June, the Guardian said. The documents said that the homemade device appears to be modeled on a viral post of instructions on how to build a nearly exact copy of the "Not-A-Flamethrower" sold by Elon Musk's The Boring Company.

Another makeshift flamethrower - a propane-power weed burner - was also confiscated from protesters in Portland, Oregon, according to the Guardian.


Read more: MAGA's favorite killer: How a kid who gunned down 3 people became a hero to the far-right

An improvised explosive device (IED) that appeared to be "modified with nails" and made from scratch was discovered in Atlanta in June of last year, the documents said.

In early June, Black Lives Matter protests took place for 11 consecutive days in the city. Georgia was in a state of emergency and the National Guard had been activated to deal with looting and unrest until June 9, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Some of the IEDS, the documents explained, may have been used by businesses attempting to deter looters.

According to the documents seen by the Guardian, a "suspected metal pipe bomb with mechanical timer" was found outside the Republican National Committee building in Washington DC. It was discovered on January 5 - the night before the deadly insurrection. A similar device was found outside the Democratic National Committee building on the same night, the Guardian reported.


It is suspected that the same person, who is yet to be identified, planted both bombs, according to the FBI.

Molotov cocktails, powerful fireworks, and a plastic bottle with an "ignitable liquid" were also found in cities across the US, the documents said.

Concluding remarks referenced the "enduring threat" posed "by far-right, neo-Nazi and white supremacist world views" and explicitly call out Proud Boys and QAnon, the paper said.

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