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Capitol Police warns of "possible plot to breach the Capitol" by militia group

Capitol tightens security over potential threats
Capitol tightens security over potential extremist threats 03:23

The U.S. Capitol Police is bolstering security this week, warning that intelligence showed "a possible plot to breach the Capitol" by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4. Previous intelligence warned of "concerning" threats related to a far-right conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump will retake power on March 4, the date that marked Inauguration Day for presidents prior to 1933. 

"The United States Capitol Police (USCP) Department is aware of and prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress or towards the Capitol complex," USCP said in a statement Wednesday. "We 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."

"We are taking the intelligence seriously," it added. "Due to the sensitive nature of this information we cannot provide additional details at this time."

In an earlier security bulletin obtained by CBS News, House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett issued guidance stating that his office is working closely with USC) to monitor potential protests and demonstrations related to what some have called the "true Inauguration Day" — however, the threat had appeared to decline since the insurrection on January 6. 

"The significance of this date has reportedly declined amongst various groups in recent days," Blodgett said in a statement Tuesday. "At this time, the USCP has no indication that groups will travel to Washington, D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence."

As a precaution, and to ensure the safety and security of members of Congress and their staff, there will be a heightened police presence throughout the Capitol Grounds.

Members of the National Guard are seen on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol Building on March 2, 2021, in Washington, DC. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

"Additionally, the National Guard continues to maintain a presence on Capitol grounds to support the USCP with maintaining an increased security posture," Blodgett added. "We encourage all Members and staff to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement authorities." 

Since the January 6 attack, during which rioters attacked police and threatened members of Congress and former Vice President Mike Pence, federal prosecutors have charged more than 300 people and arrested more than 280. A Justice Department official said last week that the department had opened files on approximately 540 subjects.

Several prominent followers of QAnon, a debunked and harmful online conspiracy theory, have been arrested in connection to the riot, which left five dead, potentially thwarting any future efforts to restore Mr. Trump's power. 

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers on Tuesday that the attack on the Capitol on January 6 was "domestic terrorism" — a threat which he said was "metastasizing" across the country.

Wray said that threats of "racially motivated violent extremism" have skyrocketed in recent years, and have been responsible for the "most lethal" attacks over the past decade. He said the bureau is pursuing approximately 2,000 active extremism cases, and that the number of arrests of white supremacists has nearly tripled in recent years.

QAnon followers read the tea leaves in Donald Trump's CPAC speech 06:53
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