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Bomb-making manuals found at home of Proud Boy arrested after US Capitol riot

Prosecutors say instructions found on thumb drive at home of Dominic Pezzola, a member of extremist group; he was charged on multiple counts including conspiracy

This photo provided by the FBI shows Dominic Pezzola (FBI via AP)
Illustrative -- Supporters of US President Donald Trump who are wearing attire associated with the Proud Boys attend a rally at Freedom Plaza, December 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

United States law enforcement officials found bomb-making manuals at the home of a member of the Proud Boys right-wing extremist group who was charged with participating in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, prosecutors said Friday.

Dominic Pezzola, 43, had “weapons- and bomb-making manuals” on a thumb drive device at his home near Rochester, New York, prosecutors said in a court filing, according to the Reuters news agency.

The US Justice Department said Pezzola was indicted on multiple charges including conspiracy, civil disorder, unlawfully entering restricted buildings or grounds, obstruction of an official proceeding, robbery of personal property of the United States, and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.

The announcement came days after the US Department of Homeland Security declared a nationwide terrorism alert, citing the potential threat from domestic anti-government extremists opposed to US President Joe Biden.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The alert said extremists could undertake attacks against elected officials and government facilities, “emboldened” by the deadly January 6 assault on Congress by angry supporters of former US President Donald Trump.

The National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin said the threat of attacks could persist for weeks as Trump faces an impeachment trial in the Senate for “incitement of insurrection” for allegedly encouraging the assault on the US Capitol.

The DHS alert said threats had grown since last year from domestic violent extremists motivated by COVID-19 restrictions, Biden’s defeat of Trump in the November election, illegal immigration and other issues.

Supporters of US President Donald Trump wearing attire associated with the Proud Boys attend a rally at Freedom Plaza, December 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

On Tuesday, the Justice Department said it had arrested more than 150 people over the attack on the Capitol and was investigating hundreds more.

Increasingly the investigations are focused on conspiracy and sedition charges, which can bring up to 20 years in prison, said Michael Sherwin, the acting federal prosecutor for Washington.

A number of people linked to the extremist Proud Boys and Oath Keepers groups have been charged on those grounds. Their case is significant, Sherwin said, because “it shows militia groups actively involved in planning and breaching the Capitol.”

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