Colorado mother Cynthia Abcug became an unlikely star on the fringe right last year thanks to a battle with her state’s child-welfare department over custody of her son, which became a cause célèbre among believers of the bizarre pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory.
But a recently unsealed arrest warrant alleges that Abcug had bigger plans, working with other armed QAnon believers to plan a kidnapping.
Montana police arrested Abcug in Kalispell, Montana, on Dec. 30, on a felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping arrest warrant issued in Colorado. Abcug had allegedly teamed up with other QAnon believers to carry out the kidnapping, according to witness statements to police.
The alleged target of the purported kidnapping is redacted in court documents, but the individual is described as once having been in Abcug’s “care.” The 50-year-old’s son was taken from her by Colorado child-welfare officials in the spring of 2019.
Police in Parker, Colorado, first became aware of Abcug’s alleged plan in late September, when her daughter told authorities that she had been discussing a kidnapping “raid” with other QAnon believers. Abcug’s daughter told police she was concerned that someone could be hurt in the raid.
According to a heavily redacted police affidavit, Abcug’s daughter told police that her mom was a committed QAnon believer who had been discussing how “people from the Q-Anon group planned to kidnap” the unnamed person. Abcug had obtained a gun of her own, according to her daughter, and talked about a person or group of people “dying” in a “raid” conducted by QAnon believers.
Police found QAnon paraphernalia at Abcug’s home, including blue awareness bracelets promoting a QAnon website and the name of a prominent QAnon Twitter poster. Abcug allegedly stressed “her belief that people would be injured during the raid,” saying that they were “evil Satan worshipers” and “pedophiles,” according to the affidavit.
Abcug’s daughter said her mom typically only left the house to meet with fellow QAnon supporters.
“[Abcug’s daughter] explained that Abcug got involved with Q-Anon, and that Abcug has repeatedly talked about a raid (to her and others), wherein people from the Q-Anon group planned to kidnap [name redacted],” the arrest warrant affidavit reads. “She expressed concern that people were going to be injured, and that it was going to occur ‘soon.’”
QAnon, an elaborate conspiracy theory that posits that Donald Trump is at war with Satanic pedophile-cannibals in the Democratic Party, began in late 2017 with anonymous message board posts made by a person or a group of people known only as “Q.” Since then, it’s won adherents among Trump supporters, including some GOP congressional candidates. The president and his re-election campaign have repeatedly flirted with QAnon promoters, even though the FBI considers QAnon to be a potential domestic terror threat.
While QAnon promoters often claim their movement is non-violent, the conspiracy theory has been linked to two murders, including the slaying of a Gambino mafia family boss. Other QAnon believers have been charged with crimes, including a church vandalism and an attempt to shut down a bridge with an improvised armored truck.
Abcug’s feud with state officials over custody of her son turned her into a star among QAnon believers and other fringe activists after she broadcast her allegations about supposed abuses committed by the state’s child-welfare system on right-wing websites like InfoWars, Big League Politics, and PJ Media.
Abcug didn’t respond to a request for comment, and The Daily Beast was not able to confirm the details of Abcug’s custody case.
A segment of QAnon believers have become convinced, in an outgrowth of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, that child-protective services double as a kind of hunting ground for the mythical pedophiles they’re convinced run the anti-Trump “deep state.”
“The Child Protective Services was a front line for funneling in the trafficking,” Abcug said in a June appearance on a QAnon-affiliated YouTube channel. “I had not been open to that yet.”
The custody case brought Abcug into contact with more QAnon believers, including a man identified in the police affidavit as “Ryan,” an “armed guard” who was staying with her. Abcug reportedly described her associate as a “sniper.”
Abcug stopped responding to police during their investigation last September and eventually left Colorado, only resurfacing in Montana in late December. Abcug was arrested after a tip from the FBI, according to a local news report.