DHS warns of uptick in threats to lawmakers, extremist online chatter

US Politics

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(The Hill) – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned partners it has seen an uptick in chatter on extremist online platforms, according to a memo obtained by The Hill.

“While we still have no indication of a specific and credible plot, DHS and FBI have identified new content online that could inspire violence, particularly by lone offenders, and could be directed against political and other government officials, including members of Congress, state and local officials, and high-profile members of political parties,” including outside of Washington, John Cohen, DHS’s head of the ​​Office of Intelligence and Analysis, wrote in a memo.

The update comes as lawmakers, primarily Democrats, are gathered at the Capitol to remember the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

One online posting references the anniversary as “an appropriate day to conduct assassinations against named Democratic political figures, including POTUS, because of the perceived fraudulent election.” 

Also among the examples listed in the memo was an anonymously shared video listing 93 members of Congress it claimed were involved in certifying the “fraudulent” 2020 election.

“The video also called for the Congresspeople to be hung in front of the White House. It was posted on a forum known to host QAnon-related content and reposted by various users to multiple Telegram and web sharing blogs,” Cohen wrote.

“Since the original video initially surfaced online in early December, it has been viewed more than 60,000 times across all platforms.”

The memo says the Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police, and the DC Metropolitan Police have initiated investigations into the threats.

“We are making you aware of this information because we recognize the potential threat of violence could extend beyond the NCR,” Cohen said, using an acronym for the National Capital Region.

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