The FBI is keeping a close eye on potential domestic terror threats to President Biden’s first address to Congress, a senior FBI official said Friday.
“We are watching very closely for any reaction from individuals that would show … intent to commit an attack,” the official said in a conference call with reporters.
The increased scrutiny comes a day after Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said intelligence agencies had uncovered threats from far-right extremists to “blow up” the US Capitol when President Biden delivers his first joint address to both houses of Congress.
“We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union,” Pittman said while testifying before the House Appropriations Committee.
A date for Biden’s first address to Congress has not been set.
The Justice Department is prioritizing prosecuting domestic terror cases in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot that left five people dead at the US Capitol, Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin said on Friday’s call.
The DOJ’s goal is to disrupt domestic terrorism-driven violence before it occurs, while not infringing on civil liberties, Carlin said.