Police warn of possible bid by militia group to attack U.S. Capitol

FILE PHOTO: Police release tear gas into a crowd of pro-Trump protesters during clashes at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Capitol Police department has obtained intelligence pointing to a possible plot to “breach the Capitol by an unidentified militia group” on Thursday, the agency said on Wednesday.

The Capitol Police statement added that it is working with local, state and federal agencies “to stop any threats to the Capitol,” adding, “We are taking the intelligence seriously.” No further details on the threat were provided.

Thursday marks the date when some right-wing conspiracy theorists have claimed that former President Donald Trump, who was defeated in the Nov. 3 election, will be sworn in for a second term in office. A pro-Trump mob that authorities have said included a number of right-wing extremists stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and interrupted the formal certification of President Joe Biden’s election in a rampage that killed five people including a police officer.

The Capitol Police statement noted that it already has made “significant security upgrades” at the Capitol, home to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. It was unclear if these upgrades were done in response to this latest threat or whether it includes the measures already in place following the Jan. 6 riot.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Will Dunham)

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