Andrew Tate speaking in front of tan walls and plant

Samuel Leeds/YouTube

‘Controlled op’: Andrew Tate arrest fuels theories he’s connected to the CIA

Tate has claimed his father was in the CIA.


Claire Goforth


Posted on Dec 30, 2022

On Thursday, Romanian authorities arrested Andrew Tate, the ex-kickboxer turned misogynistic online influencer, on suspicion of human trafficking, rape, and organized crime. News of his arrest set the internet on fire, in part due to Tate’s viral feud with climate activist Greta Thunberg earlier this week.

A theory online holds that the pizza box from Tate’s video responding to Thunberg led authorities to his location. However, authorities have confirmed that the pizza box played no part in Tate’s arrest. Still, Tate being tracked down by his Jerry’s Pizza order is a tasty internet treat and just one of the many online theories floating around about Tate’s arrest. His detention has resurfaced claims that Tate is a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative.

Tate himself has fueled such theories by claiming that his late father, who was an international chess champion, was in the CIA.

He’s also alleged that the criminal investigation that ultimately led to his arrest is part of an effort to control him, which many have taken to refer to the CIA.

“When you are a very large problem for very powerful people, they look for a quick solution. And the easiest solution is to kill me,” Tate said a few months ago.

It’s not clear how running a webcam business where models sold sob stories to gullible men for cash and being a sexist online influencer would be a problem for the CIA.

Nevertheless, people seem to believe Tate’s story.

The theory that the CIA is involved in the arrest is running rampant in conspiracy theorist spaces online. Some think that he’s the victim; others that he had it coming because he’s supposedly a “glowie” or federal agent.

British far-right influencer Tommy Robinson released a video on Telegram claiming that Tate was arrested for “speaking out.”

“He’s taking on the system, and they’re smashing him for it,” Robinson added.

A Twitter user claimed that Tate’s video response to Thunberg was coded to reveal what was really going on.

“He says that Greta Thunberg is a slave to The Matrix, talks about pizza and makes a clown reference,” they wrote, opining that “pizza” refers to pedophilia and “clown” means the CIA.

This theory has roots in the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which helped give rise to the pedophilia-obsessed QAnon conspiracy theory that Satanists who molest and eat children run the world.

Curiously, some of the same figures who espouse QAnon are defending Tate in spite of his being accused of human trafficking. They’re convinced that the “new world order” demanded his arrest, with some going so far as to claim it’s retribution for him “messing with” Thunberg by tagging her in his tweet about the emissions of his vehicles.

Others believe that Tate is in cahoots with the enemy. One called him a “fucking scumbag.”

“Honestly gotta thank Tate for being the most obvious glowop I’ve ever seen…anyone who fell for that dude for even a second is the definition of NGMI [not gonna make it],” a conspiratorial Telegram channel posted after news of his arrest broke.

“I am pretty sure this dude is [a] controlled op,” a redditor wrote in the popular Conspiracy subreddit.

In Body Image
Nate Burruano/Telegram

After he was arrested, Tate encouraged the theory that he’d fallen prey to nefarious forces.

“The Matrix sent their agents,” he tweeted.

A spokesperson for the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) told the BBC that prosecutors have asked for Tate, his brother, and the two others arrested with them to be detained for an additional 30 days.

“The four suspects… appear to have created an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialized websites for a cost,” DIICOT reportedly said.

There’s no evidence that Tate is in any intelligence agency or that his arrest has anything to do with the CIA.

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*First Published: Dec 30, 2022, 12:53 pm CST