The attack on the U.S. Capitol may have been set the stage for more violence to come, U.S. intelligence agencies are warning in a new advisory. The joint bulletin distributed by the National Counterterrorism Center and the Justice and Homeland Security Departments — and first reported by the New York Times — suggests violent extremists, emboldened by the last week’s riots, “may exploit the aftermath of the Capitol breach by conducting attacks to destabilize and force a climactic conflict in the United States.”
Specifically, the advisory singles out the Boogaloo — a movement fomented online with the explicit goal of murdering members of law enforcement in the hopes of sparking a second civil war — as a serious threat. The memo tracks with dispatches from corners of the internet where Boogaloo dwell. The Intercept, monitoring a Telegram channel called “Boogaloo Intel Drop,” reports that the channel’s more than 6,000 subscribers “have called for the murder of police officers with increased fervor and elevated Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran killed by Capitol Police during the riot, to the status of a martyr.”
The Daily Beast detailed a similar advisory distributed by the Secret Service warning of multiple events planned in D.C. by Boogaloos and an affiliated group, both encouraging attendees to bring weapons. Those advisories appear to be separate from another distributed by the FBI and reported by ABC on Monday alerting law enforcement of armed protests being planned “at all 50 state capitols” beginning January 16th through January 20th — “at least.” Meanwhile, the Capitol Police have briefed members of Congress on at least three new specific threats to the U.S. Capitol itself.
Roughly 20,000 National Guardsmen have been activated to protect the Capitol from threats to the inauguration, and most of the festivities have already been canceled amid the pandemic. Guardsmen have been instructed to prepare for the possibility that terrorists may use improvised explosive devices — like the ones found near the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committees on January 6th — to disrupt the events, according to Politico. (No one, as of yet, has been arrested in connection with the planting of those bombs.)
Both the January 6th attack and its aftermath online and in the media, the bulletin said, may encourage “more sporadic, lone-actor or small-cell violence against common targets, including racial, ethnic, or religious minorities and institutions, law enforcement, and government officials and buildings.”
The rioters’ success breaking into the Capitol building, the memo said, may have increased the “willingness, capability, and motivation to attack and undermine a government they view as illegitimate … the shared false narrative of a ‘stolen’ election may lead some individuals to adopt the belief that there is no political solution to address their grievances and violent action is necessary.”