NYPD Seizes Stockpile of "Ghost Guns," Ammo, and Explosives from Self-Styled Anarchists in Queens
An investigation into two men suspected of illegally purchasing firearms parts led to a surprising raid in Astoria, Queens, and resulted in the arrest of Greek-American brothers, Andrew and Angelo Hatziagelis. The brothers, 39 and 51 years old, were arrested on January 17 and are charged with 130 criminal counts. They were found in possession of rifles and handguns that were allegedly craft-made and lacking serial numbers, along with improvised explosive devices (IED), body armor, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
The brothers were living in a Queens, NY, residence along with their mother and another sibling. Apparently, among their cache of weapons, law enforcement found “anarchist propaganda,” writings detailing tactics, construction of incendiary devices, anatomy of firearms, and a “hit list” including police, politicians, bankers, and celebrities, which did not provide names of specific individuals. According to District Attorney, Melinda Katz, NYPD seized two complete AR-pattern rifles without serial numbers, a partially completed AK-pattern rifle, multiple 9mm handguns, smoke devices, and between 6-8 functional IEDs, and what they describe as anarchist literature and a rudimentary target list.
Raising some concerns of potential attacks on critical infrastructure is the proximity of the Hatziagelis residence to local utility Con Ed’s Ravenswood Generating Station on the East River. However, no evidence was found that would indicate the brothers planned to target the power plant.
One of the eight IEDs found apparently utilized a trip-wire detonation mechanism, and it is possible that two of the eight IEDs were inert. In addition to the two loaded AR-pattern rifles and the partially completed AK-pattern rifle, police found 29 “high capacity” magazines, nearly half of which were crafted using a 3D printer. An additional six AR lower receivers were found, along with materials that could be used to manufacture more IEDs. They also had a radio tuned to listen in on emergency chatter from the 114th NYPD precinct in Astoria, Queens.
Curiously, the brothers seemed to have named their two-man group the “Order of the Misanthropic Few,” and they had in their possession what is very likely a self-made flag, in which an anarchist circle-A is formed by the silhouettes of two M16-style rifles, superimposed over what appears to be a pentagram, all in red over a black background. Though there are examples of similar circle-As formed from either M16 or AK-pattern rifles, with the addition of the pentagram, and no other examples of such a flag that this researcher knows of, it is reasonable to assume that the Hatziagelis brothers had the flag made themselves. One user on X (formerly Twitter) provided an interesting explanation of how such a flag could be made.
One of their writings says that “animal sacrifices are forbidden,” but that “human sacrifices are permitable [sic]” in the cases of “corrupt souls, rapists, pedophiles, murderers, politicians, judges” etc. Their writings also express a strong affinity for animal rights and environmentalism, and one of them concluded with the footer, “wipe out the scum wipe out the earth”. Despite the men’s ages, it would be fair to say that their personal political screeds are ideologically unsophisticated, objectively juvenile, and only slightly consistent with the writings of genuine left and post-left anarchists. Local Queens news outlet WHAM reports that “Charles Manson, an American criminal who led a cult in California in the late 1960s, was mentioned in [a] notebook” found by NYPD and other federal agencies cooperating with the investigation. In terms of ideological motivations, it is difficult to work out what the brothers’ political leanings were, other than having a general frustration with the federal government and establishment structures.
Among the many charges that the brothers face is that of illegal firearms sales. It is unclear to whom said firearms and/or parts were sold, or whether anyone else is implicated in the ongoing investigation. The two are to be arraigned on February 15.