Federal officials warn January 6 anniversary ‘may be exploited by threat actors’ but cite no specific or credible threats
By Geneva Sands, CNN
Federal officials are warning that “threat actors” may take advantage of the upcoming anniversary of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, though there are currently no specific or credible threats, according to an intelligence assessment issued Thursday to state and local officials.
“We assess that threat actors will try to exploit the upcoming anniversary of the 6 January 2021 breach of the US Capitol to promote or possibly commit violence,” it reads.
Lone offenders are the most likely threat to the upcoming anniversary, according to the intelligence assessment.
Conspiracy theories about election fraud continue to resonate among domestic violent extremists and could again inspire some to promote or commit violence, according to the assessment, which was prepared by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, US Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies.
Additionally, China, Iran and Russia have amplified content regarding the Capitol breach or the upcoming anniversary and continue to spread narratives about US election fraud, according to the intelligence assessment.
Some Russian news media outlets have amplified content about upcoming events by the current and former Presidents for the anniversary, it says.
“What’s not surprising is that domestic extremists are still fixated on the January 6th events. However, what should give us pause is how nation-state adversaries will use these types of events to create anxiety and fear amongst the American public. Misinformation continues to be a ‘go-to’ tactic to rile up society,” former DHS Assistant Secretary Brian Harrell told CNN.
Last month, DHS counterterrorism chief John Cohen said the department has made changes since last January, noting that DHS is “more focused” on looking at information that’s being introduced or amplified on various threat actor-related platforms.
“We are incorporating that understanding into security and law enforcement planning,” he said at an event held by The George Washington University.
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