Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Intelligence Briefing Did Not Identify Any Specific Plots To Attack The Inaugural...,

WaPo  |  The FBI privately warned law enforcement agencies Monday that far-right extremists have discussed posing as National Guard members in Washington and others have reviewed maps of vulnerable spots in the city — signs of potential efforts to disrupt Wednesday’s inauguration, according to an intelligence report obtained by The Washington Post.

The document, a summary of threats that the FBI identified in a Monday intelligence briefing, warned that both “lone wolves” and adherents of the QAnon extremist ideology, some of whom joined in the violent siege on the Capitol on Jan. 6, have indicated they plan to come to Washington for President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.

The FBI also said it had observed people downloading and sharing maps of sensitive locations in Washington and discussing how those facilities could be used to interfere in security during the inauguration.

But the intelligence briefing did not identify any specific plots to attack the inaugural events that would be akin to the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol and noted that “numerous” militia and extremist groups are publicly denouncing any violence targeted at the transition of presidential power.

While the FBI has picked up “suspicious traffic” in monitoring the kinds of communication systems used by some participants in the Capitol siege, it includes “nothing that points to any specific action.”

The FBI on Monday declined to characterize the credibility or gravity of the threats it outlined for law enforcement in advance of the inauguration.

The agency instead pointed to remarks FBI Director Christopher A. Wray made last week, when he said the agents were monitoring a “extensive amount of concerning online chatter” and noted the challenge of “trying to distinguish what’s aspirational versus what’s intentional.”

“We’re monitoring all incoming leads, whether they’re calls for armed protest, potential threats that grow out of the January 6 breach of the Capitol, or other kinds of potential threats leading up to inaugural events and in various other targets. So we’re latched up with all of our partners in that regard,” Wray added.

A spokesman for the Secret Service also declined to comment on the threat report or to characterize the agency’s level of concern.