According to US Congress member Rep. Conor Lamb, thousands of armed pro-Donald Trump extremists are plotting to surround the US Capitol ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
Lamb was among those briefed late Monday on a series of new threats against lawmakers and the Capitol itself, reports the CNN.
"They were talking about 4,000 armed 'patriots' to surround the Capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in," Rep. Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania Democrat said.
"They have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don't. So this is an organised group that has a plan. They are committed to doing what they're doing because I think in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they're talking about 1776 and so this is now a contest of wills."
He continued: "We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped. And unfortunately, that includes the President, which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office."
Monday's briefing followed an FBI bulletin warning of "armed protests" being planned at all 50 state capitols and in Washington, DC, and provides the latest sense of a heightened state of alarm among lawmakers and law enforcement officials following last week's deadly siege at the US Capitol.
Two Democratic lawmakers who participated in the briefing told CNN that they were walked through several scenarios on a call Monday and officers were sober about the threats. An effort was made to emphasize how different security is right now, the members said.
"They are very strong when we are weak. That is when the mob psychology takes hold and they are emboldened, but when met with actual determined force, I think a lot of these fantasy world beliefs about what will happen when they come to Washington will melt away," one of the members said.