A Colorado woman has been arrested and accused of conspiring to kidnap her son in a “raid” carried out by believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Cynthia Abcug was arrested in northwestern Montana late last month.
According to a heavily redacted arrest affidavit that police filed in October in Parker, Colorado, a caseworker alerted authorities after Abcug’s daughter told her “there were lots of weapons” in their home and that a man who identified himself as a sniper had begun sleeping on their couch.
Abcug had “gotten into some conspiracy theories” after her son was removed from her custody, Abcug’s daughter said, according to the report.
The “QAnon” conspiracy theory, an elaborate, mind-boggling invention of the far right, maintains that President Donald Trump is on a top-secret mission to take down an international ring of satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles. Among other things, adherents believe that Trump only pretended to collude with Russia so he could secretly enlist special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Democrats who, per the theory, are satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles. They also believe that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was actually installed by the CIA.
The FBI considers QAnon a domestic terror threat.
Abcug’s daughter told police her mom and members of QAnon were planning a “raid” to “kidnap” Abcug’s son, and that they were unconcerned about hurting others because they’d be injuring “evil Satan worshippers and pedophiles.”
Abcug stopped going to therapy two months before the warrant was issued, her daughter said, and only left the house “when she had meetings with the QAnon people.”
Madlynn Ruble, Colorado Department of Human Services’ Deputy Director of Communications, couldn’t confirm or deny whether the agency is involved in child welfare for the Abcug family.
But contrary to popular opinion, she said, the department doesn’t make the decision to remove a child from an unsafe environment.
“Child welfare caseworkers cannot and do not have the authority to remove children from their homes,” said Ruble. “Removal of children from their parents has to happen either from law enforcement or the court.”
“Folks think that child welfare wants to remove children and that’s the only option we have — it’s actually quite the opposite. Our highest priority is always to keep children with their parents whenever we’re capable of doing so.”
Abcug faces one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, a Class 4 felony. A court date has not yet been set pending her return to Douglas County, a spokesperson for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office said.