US House nixes Thursday session over extremist threat

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US House of Representatives on Wednesday cancelled a planned session this week over intelligence that suggests a militia group plans to overrun the Capitol on March 4.

Business that was supposed to be attended to on Thursday, including a vote on a police reform bill, is instead being addressed Wednesday night by lawmakers.

US Capitol Police earlier announced that they were stepping up security ahead of Thursday's session, citing "obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4."

"We are taking the intelligence seriously. Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time," it added in a statement.

Law enforcement did not identify the group, but multiple reports pointed to the possible involvement of the Three Percenters anti-government militia.

The QAnon conspiracy theory pegs March 4, which is the original inauguration day used until the early 20th century, as the day on which former President Donald Trump would return to power after losing the 2020 presidential election.

The conspiracy theory is popular among some of Trump's supporters, and many of those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 adhered to its false beliefs. The theory essentially holds that Trump was at war with a secret cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile liberals who kill and eat children.

The Capitol insurrection has emboldened many among far-right extremist groups, law enforcement has warned.

"We expect racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, anti-government or anti-authority violent extremists, and other domestic violent extremists citing partisan political grievances will very likely pose the greatest domestic terrorism threats in 2021 and likely into 2022," FBI Director Christopher Wray said during testimony Tuesday.

Over 300 people have been arrested in connection with the attack, including several US military veterans.