According to The Washington Post, “an FBI office in Virginia issued an explicit internal warning that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit violence and ‘war’” a day before the insurrection at the Capitol.
The internal document, reviewed by The Post, “contradicts a senior official’s declaration the bureau had no intelligence indicating anyone at last week’s pro-Trump protest planned to do harm,” the newspaper wrote.
A situational information report approved for release the day before the U.S. Capitol riot painted a dire portrait of dangerous plans, including individuals sharing a map of the complex’s tunnels, and possible rally points for would-be conspirators to meet up in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and South Carolina and head in groups to Washington.
“As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,” the document says. “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”
The warning is the most stark evidence yet of the sizable intelligence failure that preceded the mayhem, during which five people died, although one law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary action, said the failure was not one of intelligence, but of acting on the intelligence.
According to an FBI official familiar with the document, the information was put into a report and shared with others in the bureau within 45 minutes of learning of the online conversation.
It was not immediately clear how many law enforcement agencies outside the FBI were told, but the information was briefed to FBI officials at the bureau’s Washington field office the day before the attack, this official said.
The Post also noted:
On Friday, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Steven D’Antuono, told reporters “there was no indication” of anything planned for the day of Trump’s rally “other than First Amendment-protected activity.” D’Antuono added, “we worked diligently with our partners on this.”
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