FBI tracking “extensive amount of concerning online chatter” before inauguration of Joe Biden, says director

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FBI Director Chris Wray said Thursday the agency is tracking an “extensive amount of concerning online chatter.” That includes calls for armed protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration.

He said possible rallies and protests in state capitols nationwide could draw individuals who are armed near officials and government buildings. 

“We’re looking at individuals who may have an eye towards repeating that same kind of violence that we saw last week,” said Wray, in his first public remarks since pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol

The FBI has now identified more than 200 suspects since the attack on January 6, according to Wray. He warned: “If you’re out there, an FBI agent is coming to find you.”

Details about suspects are increasingly coming to light. 

Some of them have been identified as current or former police or military. 

One is a retired Air Force officer, who was arrested in Texas last weekend after allegedly being seen in a viral photo holding plastic zip-tie handcuffs in the Senate chamber. A prosecutor said Thursday he was carrying them because he intended “to take hostages.”

“He means to take hostages. He means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the U.S. government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer said of retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock Jr.

A law enforcement official told CBS News that a police officer in Washington D.C. saw rioters use military-style hand signals to communicate inside the Capitol building during the assault. The identification of people using military, small unit tactics is among the “highest priorities” for a Sedition Task Force run by the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office, CBS News’ Catherine Herridge reported.   

Federal authorities have charged over 40 people in connection with the riot. 

U.S.-WASHINGTON, D.C.-CAPITOL-NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIER
National Guard soldiers are seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on January 14, 2021. 

Photo by Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty


Contributing: The Associated Press 



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