National Security

Far-right extremist groups planning to attend September rally at Capitol: AP

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that far-right extremist groups including members of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are planning to attend a rally at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., later this month.

Citing three sources who requested anonymity, the AP reported the rallygoers intend to demand “justice” for hundreds of people incarcerated on a variety of charges for breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6 in protest of the 2020 presidential election results.

Police have been discussing whether to again put up a large fence around the Capitol, much like the one that remained months following the Jan. 6 riot in which pro-Trump supporters, among them individuals who were part of such far-right extremist groups, stormed the Capitol to disrupt Congress’s official Electoral College vote.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told The Hill in a statement: “We are closely monitoring September 18 and we are planning accordingly. After January 6, we made Department-wide changes to the way we gather and share intelligence internally and externally. I am confident the work we are doing now will make sure our officers have what they need to keep everyone safe.”

The FBI Washington Field Office said in a statement to The Hill that they respected people’s ability to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights and noted that they “do not initiate investigations based solely on an individual’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

The field office noted that they would work with law enforcement agencies to combat potential criminal and violent activity.

“We are committed to working closely with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners against any individuals who intend to commit violence and criminal activity that constitutes a federal crime or poses a threat to national security. We remind members of the public to be aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement,” the FBI Washington Field Office told The Hill in a statement.

— This story was updated Sept. 8 with a statement from the FBI.

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