First person linked to 'Three Percenters' to plead guilty in U.S. Capitol riot

WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - A New Jersey woman on Monday became the first person associated with the "Three Percenters" militia to agree to plead guilty to a charge related to the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

A plea hearing for Rasha Abual-Ragheb, a Lebanese-born resident of Fairfield, New Jersey, was scheduled for Aug. 23, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols told prosecutor Michael Liebman and defense lawyer Elita Amato during a brief hearing on Wednesday.

The charge to which Abual-Ragheb will plead guilty was not specified but she faces four misdemeanor charges related to the riot.

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An FBI agent said in an affidavit that in November 2020, a Facebook account under the name Rasha Abu participated in online chats "involving the New Jersey chapter of the American Patriot 3%." The FBI said that in chats Rasha Abu said "civil war is coming and they need to show support, and rise up and fight for our Constitution."

The FBI said that on Jan. 6, a confidential source told its Philadelphia office about meeting a woman outside a Washington hotel who called herself "Rasha" and "said she was in the U.S. Capitol and saw a woman get shot."

More than 570 people have faced charges arising from the riot in which Trump supporters sought to block Congress from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden's election victory. At least 36 have pleaded guilty to riot-related charges.

Investigators have linked seven defendants still facing riot-related charges to the "Three Percenters," a group which takes its name from the erroneous idea that only 3% of American colonists took up arms against the British during the American Revolution.

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Reporting By Mark Hosenball; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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