WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4) – U.S. Capitol Police say they are “aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex” planned for Thursday.
In a Wednesday press release, Capitol Police say they “have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”
The release goes on to say that they “have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers.”
“Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol. We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time.”
ABC News reports the threat appears to stem from QAnon, “the umbrella term for a set of disproven and discredited internet conspiracy theories that allege the world is run by a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles.”
QAnon followers also believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. ABC News adds that some of these followers believe Trump will return to office on March 4, the original inauguration day for U.S. presidents until 1933.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis issued a confidential assessment to law enforcement agencies, which was obtained by ABC News, saying that the threat of domestic violent extremism in 2020 — largely driven by “violent anti-government or anti-authority narratives, periods of prolonged civil unrest and conspiracy theories” — is a trend that will likely continue in 2021 and “could escalate to include targeting of critical infrastructure.”
An insurrection in early January left numerous people dead and many others injured.