Far right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, are planning to attend a September 18 rally at the U.S. Capitol to demand “justice” for the hundreds of people who have been charged for their alleged roles in the January 6 attack, according to two sources familiar with new intelligence.
The intelligence is based on chatter on online messaging boards, including right-wing social media sites Parler and Gab. A congressional source and a federal law enforcement source told CBS News that Capitol Police leadership and the House Sergeant of Arms discussed the intelligence during a call Wednesday. Capitol Police and D.C.’s Metropolitan Police are planning an all hands on deck approach to the protest, although the size of the crowd expected at this point is not very large.
The intelligence gathered so far suggests 300 to 500 people will attend the event, and some members of Congress have been invited to attend, a federal law enforcement source said. It is not clear whether any members will attend.
Capitol Police leadership plans to hold briefings with members of Congress next week. They will also brief Congress on what security will look like for the rally, including a recommendation on whether or not to erect a large perimeter fence around Capitol grounds similar to the one put in place for more than two months after the. The sources believe U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger is leaning toward recommending to the U.S. Capitol Police Board that the fence be installed, but a final decision has not been made.
Capitol Police have requested aid from partner agencies to supplement its manpower, specifically requesting “riot police” or “Civil Disturbance Unit” trained officers. Capitol Police is “taking no chances,” the source said.
A Capitol Police spokesman declined to discuss specifics about potential security plans.
“We are closely monitoring September 18 and we are planning accordingly,” Manger said in a statement Wednesday. “After January 6, we made Department-wide changes to the way we gather and share intelligence internally and externally. I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.”
More than 570 defendants have been arrested and more than 30 have pleaded guilty since January 6. Charges include assaults on officers, destruction of government property and conspiracy.
at least 83 alleged rioters to extremist groups and ideologies, including the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, Texas Freedom Force and the conspiracy ideology QAnon.