DHS memo warns of potential violence around upcoming 'J6' rally

A memo from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning of potential violence around the “Justice for J6” rally on Saturday in Washington, D.C., CNN reported.

DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis made the warning in an unclassified intelligence brief that was shared with state and local authorities and obtained by the news outlet.

In the brief, the agency said it was aware of a “small number of recent online threats of violence referencing the planned rally, including online discussions encouraging violence the day before the rally.”

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The agency further said that lone offenders and small groups can “mobilize to violence with little-to-no warning, particularly in response to confrontational encounters with perceived opponents or calls for escalation by key influencers.”

The department said that some people may engage in violence, but it did not have an indications of a specific plot associated with the rally.

The Hill has reached out to DHS for comment.

Pro-Trump protesters have plans to attend the rally, which is being held to support people who were charged with crimes related to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Melissa Smislova, the deputy undersecretary for intelligence enterprise readiness at DHS, said Tuesday that roughly 700 people were expected to attend Saturday’s event, compared to “tens of thousands” that attended the “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6 that turned violent.

The rally has spurned new security measures on Capitol Hill. For instance, security barriers and fencing were put back around the Capitol late Wednesday ahead of the rally.

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Also, Capitol Police has issued a special bulletin allowing its force to deputize outside law enforcement as “special” Capitol Police officers during the demonstration.

In the memo obtained by CNN, DHS said that social media users discussed storming the Capitol the night before the rally, and one commented on kidnapping a member of Congress, the outlet reported.

The memo also raised concerns about a counter-rally scheduled to take place in Freedom Plaza in northwest D.C., “heightening the potential for violence between perceived ideological opponents.”