Wednesday, January 26

New Capitol Assault Threat Puts the US at Enduring Risk of Indigenous Extremism | International


Members of the National Guard guard the surroundings of an armored Capitol, Washington.
Members of the National Guard guard the surroundings of an armored Capitol, Washington.JIM URQUHART / Reuters

Once the revolt of January 6 failed and consummated two weeks after the inauguration of Joe Biden, reality insists on ruining the delirious prophecies of the followers of QAnon, who predict a triumphant return of Donald Trump to crush some imaginary corrupt elites that move the threads of the country. A new threat that pointed to this Thursday’s session has put the Capitol police on alert and has led the lower house to suspend its sessions. The United States faces the enduring threat of increasingly cornered and fanatical extremism springing up and growing within its own borders.

On January 6, “the storm” did not fall, that fantasy of military tribunals and summary executions that Ashli ​​Babbit, a 35-year veteran of the Air Force anticipated in a video, after crossing the country to storm the Capitol and before receiving a fatal shot to the neck as he tried to enter through a small door into a room where the legislators were hiding. Nor did the Trump return triumphant on January 20, to save the country and crush those powerful progressive Satan-worshipers and pedophiles. Instead, the hero trotted out into his golden retirement in Mar-a-Lago and, amid verses by Amanda Gorman and extraordinary security measures, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States. Reality provides QAnon’s followers with successive breaches of the crazy prophecies that the conspiratorial far-right feeds on in dark digital forums.

With the succession completed in the White House, some followers have awakened from the fantasy in which they have lived these years. They have tried to rebuild ties with their families and friends, broken on that fanatic journey to a parallel reality. But there are those who have renewed their vows of fidelity to Q, twisting reality even more to try to adapt it to the stubborn events. Some believe that Biden and Trump are actually working together in the shadows, others suspect that they have simply swapped their bodies. And many had March 4 marked on their calendars as another key date. The day that, this time, Trump would be inaugurated again.

That is why the Capitol police are on alert this Thursday, and the day before they revealed that they had received “new and worrying information and intelligence that indicates additional interest in the Capitol between March 4 and 6 by a militia group.” The lower house (not the Senate) has suspended its sessions for the day, in anticipation of a possible attempted assault on the Capitol.

After being caught by surprise in the equally anticipated January riot, the security forces and some congressmen took seriously the threat they pointed to on Thursday. Security around the Capitol perimeter has been reinforced since the assault, and Capitol Police called on other local and federal bodies to be ready. In front of the metal fences, dozens of soldiers watched the surroundings in the morning, along with military trucks. Approximately 5,200 soldiers are now on duty in Washington, where the White House, Congress and several places remain armored since the violent day of January 6. However, in the morning, there were no signs of protest in the most emblematic places of the capital.

The Capitol Police, the subject of intense scrutiny these weeks by senators investigating the poor response to the January revolt, has requested that members of the National Guard deployed to the federal compound stay until May. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, affirmed that all committees will receive a draft with the proposal. “We should have them here as long as they are needed,” said the Democratic leader. The last word is up to the Pentagon, which this same Wednesday was accused by the general of the Washington National Guard of having delayed the approval of the dispatch of troops to quell the January revolt for more than three hours.

Since that insurrection, which the director of the FBI, Chris Wray, described this week in Congress as “national terrorism”, the focus of the US intelligence services, placed on international terrorism since the attacks of September 11, 2001, has been It has redirected the threat from racist and far-right groups within the country’s own borders. Wray said his agents are currently investigating nearly 2,000 cases of domestic terrorism, more than double the number in 2017.

But experts agree that the activity and organizational capacity of extremist groups has declined since January. Their accounts have been banned from the main social networks. They are being watched more closely by federal agents and police, who have arrested nearly 300 people in connection with the assault on the Capitol to date. And the unifying element that was Donald Trump is practically silenced, although last weekend, in his first public act after the inauguration, he insisted on the unfounded accusations of massive electoral fraud.

Today’s date is not free. It is the day that the inauguration of presidents was originally celebrated, since George Washington took office on March 4, 1789. The four-month window between the elections and the inauguration made sense when news and people circulated to horse rhythm. But it soon turned out to be troublesome. For example, between victory and Lincoln’s inauguration, seven southern states seceded from the Union. On February 15, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was nearly shot dead, so that two weeks later the 20th Amendment was passed, establishing the presidential relay at “noon on the twentieth day of January.”

It happens that, for the followers of QAnon, all the presidents of the United States since Ulysses Grant are illegitimate, as well as all the amendments to the Constitution approved after 1871, the year in which they claim that a law was passed that converted the Government of United States in a corporation. Such a law, of course, only exists in the conspiracy imaginary. The same one in which today, March 4, 2021, Donald Trump was preparing to become the 19th president of the United States, the only legitimate one since Grant.

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