I hope the authorities are ready for them this time, because late yesterday the Associated Press reported that violent right wing extremists intend to visit the Capitol again for another "rally"-- this one on September 18. The ostensible purpose is to demand justice for what Madison Cawthorn and other congressional fascists working with these groups call "political prisoners," in other words, the insurrectionists from the 1/6 riot and failed Trump coup. Intelligence services have discovered the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are among the violent fascist groups planning to be part of the next assault. Yesterday, the 50th of the domestic terrorists plead guilty. As far as I've been able to tell everyone is getting the kind of slap on the wrist that will not only not discourage this kind of behavior but that will encourage it.
Some people involved with security are talking about putting up a fence around the Capitol but there are alternatives that could provide security without a fence.
The planned Sept. 18 rally at the Capitol comes as a jittery Washington has seen a series of troubling one-off incidents-- including, most recently, a man who parked a pickup truck near the Library of Congress and said he had a bomb and detonator. Among the most concerning events: A series of unexploded pipe bombs placed around the U.S. Capitol ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection remain unexplained and no suspect has been charged.
On Capitol Hill, the politics around fencing in the iconic building and its grounds were extremely difficult for lawmakers after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Many said they disliked closing off access, even as they acknowledged the increased level of security it provided.
The decision on whether or not to erect the fence again will likely be considered by the Capitol Police Board, according to a House aide familiar with the matter and granted anonymity to discuss it. No decisions have been made. The board consists of the Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the U.S. Senate, and the Architect of the Capitol.
The deadly riot overwhelmed the police force that was left badly prepared by intelligence failures and has resulted in internal reviews about why law enforcement agencies weren’t better equippped. More than 100 police officers were injured and the rioters did more than $1 million in damage.
The planned presence of the extremist groups is concerning because, while members and associates of Oath Keepers and Proud Boys make up just a fraction of the nearly 600 people who have been charged so far in the riot, they are facing some of the most serious charges brought so far.
Those charges include allegations that they conspired to block the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. Several Oath Keepers have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and are cooperating with investigators in the case against their fellow extremists, who authorities say came to Washington ready for violence and willing to do whatever it took to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote.
...[L]aw enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about the rally and the potential for violence. The Metropolitan Police Department will activate its entire force for that day and has put specialized riot officers on standby, law enforcement officials said.
But for federal officials, the person who planted the pipe bombs also remains a serious concern. Many of the leads in the investigation have come up dry and investigators working on the case haven’t even been able to figure out whether the suspect is a man or a woman, people familiar with the case said.
The FBI has released grainy surveillance video of the person they believe left the bombs and have said the person wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and a face mask and had a backpack and distinct Nike Air Max Speed Turf sneakers in yellow, black and gray.
The FBI had asked Nike for information about the shoes and sought to analyze information from purchasers, according to law enforcement documents obtained by The Associated Press. Agents also looked into a tip that someone had placed an ad on Facebook Marketplace with someone selling nearly identical shoes, the documents said.
The bombs-- each about a foot long with end caps and wiring that appeared to be attached to a timer-- had contained components that were unique and specific enough that agents reached out to companies like Walmart and other vendors and asked to review information about recent purchases, the documents said.
The explosive devices were placed outside the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic national committees between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 5, the night before the riot. But they were not located by law enforcement until the next day, shortly before thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed into the Capitol.
It might be worth noting and remembering that while the domestic terrorists have been praising the Taliban for a job well done, the Department of Homeland Security worries that these same white supremacists, xenophobes and various other Trumpists are feeling inspired by the success against the U.S. military that the Taliban had.
Geneva Sands reported that "Several concerning trends have emerged in recent weeks on online platforms commonly used by anti-government, White supremacist and other domestic violent extremist groups, including 'framing the activities of the Taliban as a success,' and a model for those who believe in the need for a civil war in the US, the head of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Intelligence and Analysis, John Cohen, said on a call Friday with local and state law enforcement, obtained by CNN. Cohen said on the call that DHS has also analyzed discussions centering on 'the great replacement concept' a conspiracy theory that immigrants, in this case the relocation of Afghans to the US, would lead to a loss of control and authority by White Americans. 'There are concerns that those narratives may incite violent activities directed at immigrant communities, certain faith communities, or even those who are relocated to the United States,' he added."
Neo-Nazi and violent accelerationists-- who hope to provoke what they see as an inevitable race war, which would lead to a Whites-only state-- in North America and Europe are praising the Taliban for its anti-Semitism, homophobia, and severe restrictions on women's freedom, SITE found.
For example, a quote taken from the Proud Boy to Fascist Pipeline Telegram channel, said: "These farmers and minimally trained men fought to take back their nation back from globohomo. They took back their government, installed their national religion as law, and executed dissenters ... If white men in the west had the same courage as the Taliban, we would not be ruled by Jews currently," SITE found.
"Globohomo" is a derogatory word used to insult "globalists," the term used by conspiracy promoters to describe their enemy (the evil global elite who control the media, finance, political system etc), according to SITE.
For months, US officials have warned that domestic violent extremism is the greatest threat to the homeland, pointing to the January 6 attack at the US Capitol as a stark illustration of the potential for violence that can occur when conspiracy theories and false narratives flourish.
...Megan Squire, a professor of Computer Science at Elon University, who researches US-based domestic extremist groups, has seen three main Afghanistan-related trends emerge in platforms used by a range of far-right groups, such as White supremacists, neo-Nazis and Proud Boys-style forums.
The first narrative to emerge among the extreme far-right groups was "reveling in the humiliation" of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as images emerged of Taliban fighters taking over city after city, along with US equipment left behind, Squire said, both celebrations of defeat and feelings humiliation as Americans.
When one goes deeper into the neo-Nazi groups, you see some celebration of the Taliban, usually related to extremely misogynistic or extremely anti-Semitic discussion, she added.
This type of cross-ideological praise has historical precedent, according to Squire, citing as an example, a meme that circulated in neo-Nazi communities during a particularly misogynist period about "white Sharia," the concept that women should be treated the way the Taliban treats women.
There have been recent examples of right-leaning groups supporting movement overseas that appear ideologically distant. For instance, earlier this summer, QAnon and Donald Trump-supporting online forums celebrated the deadly military coup in Myanmar and suggested the same should happen in the United States so Trump could be reinstated as President. CNN also spoke to followers of the former President in Ventura, California, in February who said they wanted to see a Myanmar-style coup happen here.
However, the most common narrative is around the idea that the US is "importing the Taliban" through the relocation of Afghans and that Afghan refugees are too different to become real citizens, according to Squire.
"It's really an anti-Muslim idea, anti-immigration idea," she said.
These are the people that are taking encouragement from seditionist members of Congress like Marjorie Traitor Greene (Q-GA), Gym Jordan (R-OH), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Michael Waltz (R-FL), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Madison Cawthorn (Nazi-NC), Jody Hice (R-GA), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Jim Banks (R-IN), Bill Posey (R-FL), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Barry Moore (R-AL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Lauren Boebert (Q-CO), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Bob Good (R-VA), Clay Higgins (R-LA) and Mary Miller (Q-IL).