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24th Jun 2021

John McAfee’s Instagram deleted after cryptic ‘Q’ post following his death

Charlie Herbert

The cybersecurity entrepreneur was found dead in his prison cell on Wednesday night.

An Instagram account belonging to John McAfee, the cybersecurity and antivirus tycoon who was found dead in his Spanish prison cell on Wednesday, has been deleted after it posted a mysterious and cryptic image of the letter Q.

The post went up just minutes after news outlets began reporting the news of McAfee’s death, and appears to be a reference to the “QAnon” conspiracy theory. The post depicted a black, capital Q on a white background and was posted less than half an hour after the news broke of his death.

McAfee’s death came the same day he received news that his extradition to the US had been granted, where he would face charges of tax evasion. Authorities have said that his death appeared to be a suicide.

If he had been found guilty in the US he could have faced more than 20 years in prison. The charges came from claims that he did not file tax returns between 2014 and 2018.

The infamous “QAnon” conspiracy theory stemmed from the presidency of Donald Trump. It claimed that Trump was waging a secret war against a global organisation of cannibalistic, Satan-worshipping, Democratic pedophiles.

McAfee had spoken about conspiracy theories before, posting an altered image of himself and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on his Instagram account.

McAfee captioned the post: “I never said Jeffrey Epstein was murdered. I said he didn’t commit suicide. Not the same. Could be alive. Could have never existed. Maybe murdered. I dunno. I only know he didn’t commit suicide.”

Conspiracy theorists have also taken note of some of McAfee’s tweets in the lead up to his death.

In one he wrote: “The US believes I have hidden crypto. I wish I did but it has dissolved through the many hands of Team McAfee (your belief is not required), and my remaining assets are all seized. My friends evaporated through fear of association. I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing.”

He tweeted in another: “In a democracy, power is given not taken. But it is still power. Love, compassion, caring have no use for it. But it is fuel for greed, hostility, jealousy… all power corrupts. Take care which powers you allow a democracy to wield.”

The reasons behind McAfee’s account deletion is unclear and has not been verified at this time.

Despite the ruling on Wednesday, McAfee’s extradition to America was not a certainty at the time of his death. The Independent reports that the Spanish Council of Ministers had yet to approve his transfer to the US, and he could still have appealed against the decision.

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