Former FBI official says law enforcement should take conservative rally in DC ‘very seriously’

Warnings of further violence at the US Capitol as far-right extremists plan to put on a show of force on 18 September

Bevan Hurley
In New York
Tuesday 07 September 2021 15:25
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<p>Andrew  McCabe has warned of the threat of further violence at the US Capitol </p>

Andrew McCabe has warned of the threat of further violence at the US Capitol

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The threat of potential violence at an upcoming rally in support of jailed January 6 rioters needs to be taken “very seriously”, according to former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

A large protest is scheduled to be held by supporters of Donald Trump on the grounds of the US Capitol on 18 September, and both law enforcement and lawmakers fear it will be infiltrated by far-right extremists such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

Speaking on CNN, Mr McCabe said there was a very real danger of seeing scenes similar to that on 6 January.

“I think they should take it very seriously. In fact, they should take it more seriously than they took the same sort of intelligence that they likely saw on 5 January,” Mr McCabe said.

The rally, set to be the largest gathering of Trump supporters in DC since the attack on the US Capitol earlier this year, is billed as a “Justice for J6” rally where attendees will show support for suspects charged with offenses related to the deadly 6 January attack.

Seven months after the 6 January riots, 638 people from more than 40 states have been charged with crimes.

Discussions are underway by the US Capitol Police to reinstall temporary fencing around the Capitol’s perimeter as they try to avoid being overwhelmed again.

Lawmakers have also expressed their concerns that the rallygoers could resort to violence.

"You don’t get an insurrection on 6 January and all threats of violence go away,” said Pennsylvania Democrat Congresswoman Madeleine Dean.

Ms Dean said worried about the safety of her staff and of Capitol Police officers.

“They are strained, they have been heroic and they saved all of our lives at great peril to themselves.”

The US Capitol is already on edge after a Trump supporter claiming to have a car bomb drove his pickup truck onto the steps of the Library of Congress.

Floyd Ray Roseberry was eventually arrested after an hours-long stand-off with police and FBI negotiators and faces a potential life sentence if found guilty of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction.

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