A few weeks ago, right-wing conspiracists Laura Loomer and Jacob Wohl came to Minneapolis in a vague attempt to dig up dirt on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. They also hoped to expose an imaginary Sharia police state supposedly running sections of the city. (If you aren’t familiar, you live in a better world and we’re nakedly envious of you, but you can brush up here.)
It turns out that some of their claims about Minneapolis' dangers may not have been just ludicrously false, but manufactured. According to reports and newly released documents from the Minneapolis Police Department, Wohl may have faked a death threat against himself.
The documentary of the pair's Minneapolis visit consists of a lot of scary music and footage of Wohl and Loomer walking around in cold weather, messing with door handles, and otherwise failing to talk to Omar. But in one scene, Wohl and his fellow investigator, Ali Alexander, pay a visit to a police station to report threats Wohl supposedly received via Twitter.
A screenshot displays a message from one “Drake Holmes” (@drakehomes612) that says, “I hope you fuckin know that if bump into you in Dinkytown or anywhere else in my city I’m going to shoot you and shit on your fucking bodies. Get the fuck out of my city you piece of shit. Now.”
“Holmes” says in his bio that he’s a “diversity coordinator” in Minneapolis and that he hates “racists, homophones [sic] and bigots.”
Here’s the problem. According to NBC journalist Ben Collins, Drake Holmes does not exist. (The fact that his name was misspelled in his own handle should be a tip-off, and the profile photo was of a random Minneapolis real estate agent.)
Drake Holmes was reportedly one of many fake Twitter accounts created by Wohl to, in his own words, “steer the left-wing votes in the primaries to what we feel are weaker candidates compared with Trump.” This behavior got him kicked off the social media website last month. The “Drake Holmes” account has since been suspended.
Local journalist Tony Webster noted the connection, and it was later picked up by Will Sommer, who runs a newsletter on right-wing media.
“A source familiar with Wohl’s fake accounts confirmed to me that @Drakehomes612 was run by Wohl before being deleted by Twitter,” Sommer said. “That means Wohl was sending himself fake death threats, presumably in an attempt to up the drama during his Minneapolis videos.”
In the aftermath of these revelations, Webster got his hands on the police reports from that night, which indeed include the alleged threat from “Holmes.” He also found this Periscope video from Wohl and Loomer’s co-investigator, Alexander, in the aftermath of the fallout.
“Howdy,” Alexander says to the camera. “I have a feeling this Periscope’s going to be watched.”
He says he just got off the phone with Wohl.
“I said, ‘Look, I don’t know what the truth is… I know that you have given misdirection, and you’ve talked publicly about using misdirection and misinformation as a part of information warfare.’” He says he understands that on an “intellectual level,” but on a “moral level,” there was “a conundrum there.”
“But I said, ‘We might need to do a film called ‘Jacob Wohl’s Lies.’”
Wohl, he says, is “considering” it.
Later in the video, Alexander gets to the heart of the matter. “Is Jacob Wohl a liar? Yeah,” he says. “Did he lie on this? Not sure.”
He followed up by telling the Daily Beast that he’d be “happy to work with police” if they decide to investigate Wohl. Wohl didn’t respond immediately to interview requests.