By Gianluca Mezzofiore and Katie Polglase, CNN
Updated 6:48 AM ET, Fri June 26, 2020
(CNN)On June 5, a car full of White supremacists drove through the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee, harassing and abusing people attending a Black Lives Matter protest. One of those in the car shouted to a group of protesters: “You wanna die? Come on in. 9mm with your name on it.”
The occupants of the car recorded several videos as they went — videos that were later uploaded to the encrypted messaging app Telegram. One of the channels they used was The Fascist Group Esoteric Anti Root Collective — one of more than 200 White supremacist Telegram groups that have become much more active in the midst of protests across the United States, according to CNN analysis.
According to a new report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) — shared exclusively with CNN — these channels have thousands of members. The ISD, a London-based think tank studying extremism, says they include frequent and explicit threats of violence against minority communities and BLM protesters — threats that in some cases have translated into violence.