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

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

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

The update comes as lawmakers, primarily Democrats, gather on Capitol Hill to commemorate the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol.

An online post refers to the anniversary as “an appropriate day to carry out assassinations against named Democratic political figures, including POTUS, due to the alleged fraudulent election.”

Also among the examples listed in the memo was an anonymously shared video listing 93 members of Congress who it claimed were involved in inviting to certify the 2020 “fraudulent” elections.

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

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

The memorandum says that the Secret Service, the United States Capitol Police and the DC Metropolitan Police have launched investigations into the threats.

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

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