‘Bring weapons’: Trump fanatics’ new plan

The Capitol siege was just the beginning according to plans being shared on far-right forums that promise an "army no police agency can match".

Security agencies including the FBI are closely monitoring chatter on niche conservative-friendly sites including Parler as the clock runs out on President Donald Trump's final days in office and his fanatical supporters ramp up the threatening rhetoric.

In one post on the since-deplatformed Parler - a site where extremists expressed themselves without the threat of censorship - a self-described retired Colonel bragged about the size of a march planned for the lead-up to Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20.

" … if we must, many of us will return on January 19 carrying our weapons, in support of our nation's resolve, to which the world will never forget," he wrote.

"We will come in numbers that no standing army or police agency can match. However the police are not our enemy, unless they choose to be!

"All who will not stand with the American Patriots … or who cannot stand with us … then that would be a good time for you to take a few vacation days."

 


The Million Militia March is planned for January 20 but its aims differ depending on who you speak to. Some attendees will march peacefully. Others will see it as an extension of the storming of the Capitol last week that led to the deaths of five people.

Other posts from Trump supporters call for an "ARMED MARCH ON CAPITOL HILL & ALL STATE CAPITOLS".

Make no mistake: this is not just bluster. Twitter kicked the President off its platform last week because he promised he was not attending the inauguration.

In its assessment, the social media giant deemed Mr Trump's tweet "may … serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the Inauguration would be a 'safe' target, as he will not be attending."

Security experts and politicians are increasingly of the opinion that Mr Trump's final days present a threat not seen in the US for decades. It's why House Democrats formally introduced a resolution on Monday to impeach the President, charging him with "incitement to insurrection".

Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman said simply Mr Trump "needs to be removed" because "he's a threat to this country".

"We're not safe with him in the White House," he said.

"Our President is this country's greatest national security threat."

Speaking a day after the Capitol siege, Mr Walsh said: "What he did yesterday, he could do again tomorrow. He could call another 50,000 people to Washington DC on Sunday to do whatever. He can use the power of his office to incite violence and insurrection again any day for the next 13 days."

House Homeland Security chairman Bennie Thompson shared similar fears when speaking with the LA Times.

"Nearly 20 years after 9/11, we still clearly have massive gaps in the Federal Government's terrorism preparedness and response capabilities," Mr Thompson said. "It is more clear than ever that President Trump is a direct threat to the homeland each remaining minute he is in power."

Fox News' Bret Baier told viewers: "I think this is a really dangerous period, as far as what is going to happen between now and January 20."

The International Crisis Group released a report following the insurrection on January 6 where it noted: "The mob incursion into the US Capitol on 6 January proved that the United States' transfer of power holds dangers without modern precedent.

"When, in October 2020, Crisis Group wrote for the first time in our 25 years about the risk of election-related violence in the US, we highlighted risk factors that would spell danger in any country.

"These included years of political polarisation overlaid with issues of race and identity; the rise of armed groups with ideological agendas; the likelihood of a contested outcome; and above all President Trump himself, whose toxic rhetoric and willingness to court conflict in the service of his personal interests have no precedent in modern US history."

Levi West is the director of Terrorism Studies at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University in Canberra.

He told news.com.au the January 6 attack was disappointing and unsurprising and that the threat of another attack "absolutely" exists.

"Researchers have been sounding the alarm on the risk of something like this taking place for four years, maybe longer," Mr West said.

"No-one should be surprised by it if they've been paying attention."

He said the inauguration would be the most likely target for an attack and that authorities should take every precaution to ensure it can be carried out safely.

"What happened at the Capitol increases an already high likelihood (of an attack)," Mr West said. "I think the 20th and the inauguration is the centre of authorities' attention now, especially if that goes ahead as some type of public event.

It's an awfully difficult thing to police - it's held entirely in open public place."

Mr West said the fact that explosives were found at the Capitol makes it clear that a number of Trump supporters have "crossed the threshold from radical politics to being willing to carry out violence".

"What happened on the 6th, for parts of the movement, will emboldened them. The people involved genuinely believe they are doing the right thing."

In the lead-up to the inauguration, social media is full of comments from Americans worried about what's next. It appears they have every reason for concern.

 

 

Originally published as 'Bring weapons': Trump fanatics' new plan


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