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QAnon pivots to spreading conspiracies about China and Jewish people

Experts who study extremism are warning of a concerning shift in the QAnon movement, where conspiracy theories are beginning to fuse anti-Chinese and anti-Jewish tropes with worries regarding vaccines and a global plot to take over the world, The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

This QAnon “rebranding” marks the movement away from the conspiracy theories that involved the 2020 election, and the efforts to keep former President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE in office, the Times reported. This shift to an increased suspicion of Asians and Jews, however, could lead to more violence, the Times noted, citing researchers.

According to Joel Finkelstein, the director of Rutgers University’s Network Contagion Research Institute, QAnon is moving toward what is broadly collected under the idea of a “new world order,” the Times wrote.

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Finkelstein explained, according to the Times, that a large portion of the racially charged conspiracy rhetoric at the beginning of the virus shutdowns had an anti-Asian sentiment and focused on the virus originating in China.

Since the election, however, Finkelstein said the anti-Asian dialogue has moved to concerns about worldwide dominance, specifically a communist overthrow of governments perpetrated by wealthy Jews.

In this scenario, the Times noted, President BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE is seen as a “pawn of these elites.”

“The latest round seems to be motivated by the political dominance stuff,” Finkelstein said, according to the Times. “There is a huge component of this that China is taking over.”

Experts said the QAnon movement is grasping onto other conspiracy movements in an effort to remain relevant, the Times noted.

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“They are unifying under a giant umbrella of a common enemy. Sometimes it’s the Jews. Occasionally it’s the Asians, usually it’s the government,” Finkelstein said, according to the Times. “What is happening is they are fishing for different issues to cause violence with.”

Extremist experts said that this transition of QAnon’s focus, while expected, will have a lasting impact on American politics, the Times wrote. They said that based on the current nature of the movement, lies, racism and propaganda will continue to have “staying power” in American politics.

On March 17, the Anti-Defamation League announced that white supremacist propaganda had reached an all time high across the United States in 2020. According to the organization, a total of 5,125 cases of racist, anti-Semitic and other hateful messages were reported by the ADL last year, with a national average of 14 incidents per day.

Additionally, the group reported a 68 percent increase in propaganda targeting Jews.