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Feds see uptick in unspecified threats associated with Jan. 6 anniversary but no credible plots

Numerous anniversary events are planned in and around the Capitol, while more than 100 vigils or ceremonies are expected across the country.
Image: Capitol riot
Rioters attempt to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Eric Lee / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Federal law enforcement and intelligence officials have observed an uptick in calls for unspecified acts of violence in the past 48 hours associated with the Jan. 6 anniversary, a senior U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter told NBC News Wednesday.

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI have said they are not aware of a specific, credible plot or plan for violence on Thursday.

Some of the unspecified threats cited by the senior intelligence official are directed at lawmakers who voted to certify the 2020 presidential election the same day a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol attempting to prevent Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The official added that some websites are circulating conspiracy theories that the Jan. 6 riot was a false flag operation organized by the FBI, while other websites associated with foreign governments are amplifying those false narratives.

Numerous events are planned for Thursday at the Capitol, many including lawmakers. Separately, more than 100 vigils or ceremonies are planned around the country.

Earlier this week, Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said at a news conference that "there's no intelligence that indicates that there would be any problems" with the anniversary events.

Manger noted that a candlelight vigil organized by right-wing groups is planned outside the D.C. jail for those arrested over their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot, but said it is "nothing that is of great concern to us at this point.”

The Senate Sergeant at Arms said in a notice Wednesday that Capitol Police will activate their Civil Disturbance Unit to address any demonstration activity that may arise on Thursday, and that Capitol Police tactical and uniformed units will have an increased presence.

The notice, sent to all Senate staff, said authorities are “not aware of any specific threats to the U.S. Capitol complex or Senate state offices.”

Federal criminal charges have been filed against more than 700 people, and about 25 percent have pleaded guilty, the Justice Department said Wednesday. Roughly 70 defendants have been sentenced, of which 31 have been ordered to serve time behind bars for periods ranging from a few days to more than five years.

"The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law, whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy," Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday. "We will follow the facts wherever they lead."