Police agencies in the US are warning of a possible new plot to attack the Capitol building in Washington, as they worry about a stated desire to repeat one of the darkest days in modern American history.
In the far corners of the web, the most ardent Donald Trump supporters have pointed to March 4 as a day in which followers of online cult QAnon believe the former president will reclaim power.
Intelligence agencies say there is a possible plot to again converge on the Capitol building on Thursday (local time).
"We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4," the US Capitol Police said in a statement.
"We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police officers.
"We are taking the intelligence seriously."
The US House was reported to be abruptly wrapping its work for the week on Wednesday night (local time) due to the threat of violence.
March 4 was the original presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to January 20 – a historical tidbit that underpins the outlandish QAnon theory.
Online chatter identified by authorities included discussion among members of the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia group, the Associated Press reported. Members of the group were among those who stormed the Capitol on January 6.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security also sent a joint intelligence bulletin to local law enforcement officials on Tuesday warning that a group of militia extremists had discussed trying to take control of the Capitol on March 4, and encouraging thousands of people to come to DC to try to remove Democrats from power.
Trump hit with civil suit over Capitol riots
Donald Trump has been slapped with a civil lawsuit for his role in the Capitol riots on January 6.
The lawsuit was formally issued to the ex-president at his Mar-a-Lago home after being filed by Democrat congressman Bennie Thompson and community organisation the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People), The Daily Beast reported.
The suit names Trump alongside his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and right-wing extremist groups the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, accusing them of violating the so-called "Ku Klux Klan Act" of 1871 which was "intended to protect against conspiracies, through violence and intimidation, that sought to prevent Members of Congress from discharging their official duties," the suit claims.
“The defendants conspired to prevent, by force, intimidation and threats, the plaintiff, as a Member of Congress, from discharging his official duties to approve the count of votes cast by members of the Electoral College following the presidential election," it says.
The plaintiffs argue the violence – which left five people dead – was "a direct, intended, and foreseeable result of the Defendants’ unlawful conspiracy".
At this stage it is unclear what punishment the suit could bring but it calls for both compensation and payment for punitive damages, in an amount to be determined at trial, as well as "other relief as the Court deems necessary and just".
It is the latest in a growing list of legal troubles facing the former president, his family and associates since he left office.
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