DHS warns cops about extremist online content on Jan. 6 anniversary

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A top Homeland Security official on Thursday warned law enforcement officials across the US about the January 6 anniversary of online activity encouraging violence, but said there was no indication of a specific or credible conspiracy.

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Why this matters: The message, obtained by Nerdshala, provides insight into how federal law enforcement agencies are working to detect real-life threats from extremism online – a year after the attack on the US Capitol building.

Between the lines: The memo was sent on behalf of John Cohen, acting under secretary of intelligence and analysis at DHS. This highlights the increase in related online activity over the past two days.

  • “While we still have no indication of a specific and credible conspiracy, the DHS and FBI have identified new material online that may inspire violence, particularly by lone perpetrators, and directed against political and other government officials. can be done.”

memorandum quotes Two examples:

  • A video was posted on a forum this week demanding a list of 93 members of Congress to be hung outside the White House. The video claims that they were involved in “fraudulent” authenticating the 2020 election results. It has over 60,000 views across platforms.
  • Another online post encourages the January 6 killings of Democratic leaders, including President Biden – also citing baseless claims of election fraud.
  • According to the memo, the Secret Service, Capitol Police and DC Police are “aware of this online activity, and have launched an investigation, as appropriate.” “In light of this reporting, the Federal Security Service has expanded patrols across the country and around federal facilities.”

big picture: Conspiracy theories about the US Capitol uprising continue to flood private messaging groups, social networks and news outlets, as Nerdshala has reported.

  • DHS Secretary Alejandro Meyerkas told reporters on Tuesday that he was seeing a “big link” between misinformation on social media and threats of domestic violent extremism.
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