Right-wing activists are frantically warning their followers away from attending the inauguration protests they organized.
Capitol police briefed House Democrats on violent plots ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration intended to keep President Donald Trump in power, but some of the president's supporters are reversing course now that participants and organizers are being arrested over the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, reported The Daily Beast.
"Folks any of these so called peaceful armed protests at all the state capitals and DC Jan 17th is a set up by the left," tweeted Mark Taylor, the self-described "firefighter prophet" and Trump supporter. "DO NOT go! It is a trap!!"
The right-wing Gateway Pundit blog, which pushes pro-Trump hoax content and conspiracies, also suggested the Jan. 17 protest was a "deep-state plot" intended to ensnare Trump supporters for arrest, and paranoia has seeped into social media groups promoting demonstrations ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration.
"This is an infiltration and set up tactic used to incite violence and blame us," warned a Minnesota group that organized a Jan. 6 "Stop the Steal" event. "DO NOT GO TO THE CAPITOL ON SUNDAY!"
Law enforcement and extremism experts have sounded the alarm over possible violence Jan. 17 protests, which are planned in Washington and in state capitals, but there's been less online chatter than was seen before the "Stop the Steal" protests last week.
"We are not seeing nearly the same level of online chatter about attending those events," said Lindsay Schubiner, a program director at the Western States Center, but she cautioned that violence was still possible. "We are in an extremely dangerous period for political violence, and it's hard to say exactly what will happen or when it might happen."