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U.S. Capitol Police patrol on the anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A top Homeland Security official warned law enforcement authorities across the U.S. on Thursday of concerning online activity encouraging violence on the anniversary of Jan. 6, but said there was no indication of any specific or credible plot. 

Why it matters: The message, obtained by Axios, provides insight into how federal law enforcement agencies are working to detect real-life threats from extremism online — one year after the attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

Between the lines: The memo was sent on behalf of John Cohen, the acting undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS. It highlights an increase in concerning online activity over the past two days.

  • "While we still have no indication of a specific and credible plot, DHS and FBI have identified new content online that could inspire violence, particularly by lone offenders, and could be directed against political and other government officials," it says.

The memo cites two examples:

  • A video was posted on a forum this week, which calls for a list of 93 members of Congress to be hung outside the White House. The video claims they were involved in certifying the "fraudulent" 2020 election results. It has more than 60,000 views across platforms.
  • Another online post encourages assassinations of Democratic leaders, including President Biden, on Jan. 6 — also citing baseless claims of election fraud.
  • The Secret Service, Capitol Police and the DC police "are aware of this online activity, and investigations have been initiated, as appropriate," according to the memo. "In light of this reporting, the Federal Protective Service has also expanded patrols in and around federal facilities across the country."

The big picture: Conspiracy theories about the U.S. Capitol insurrection continue to flood private messaging groups, social networks and news outlets, as Axios has reported.

  • DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters on Tuesday they are seeing a greater connection between misinformation on social media and domestic violent extremism threats.

Go deeper

Pence: "Tragic" Jan. 6 no reason to scrap filibuster

Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Friday called the Jan. 6 Capitol riot an attempt to "overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states."

Why it matters: Though the former vice president's op-ed in the Washington Post focuses on rebutting filibuster reforms, these are also the most public statements Pence has made about the post-election narrative and the attack as an effort to interfere with President Biden's victory.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
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