Intelligence reports repeatedly failed to forecast Jan. 6 Capitol riot

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Intelligence reports compiled by US Capitol Police in the days before last year’s uprising imagined only an unlikely or remote risk of violence, even as other assessments warned of potentially thousands of pro-Trump protesters. The crowd may have gathered to create a dangerous situation in Washington.

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Documents obtained by The Associated Press outline the uneven and confounded intelligence that was disseminated to Capitol police officers prior to the January 6 riots, when thousands of Donald Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol complex and killed law enforcement. violently clashed with the officers. Disrupt the authentication of the results of the 2020 presidential election. Intelligence reports in particular show how the police agency severely underestimated the potential for chaotic violence and disruptions.

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Paradoxical intelligence leading up to the riot by law enforcement has been at the forefront of Congressional investigations into the preparation and response to January 6, with officials struggling to explain how they could have predicted and planned the deadly riot at the Capitol that day. failed to create. , The shortcomings created turmoil among the top officials of the department. including the removal of the then chief – although the assistant chief in charge of protective and intelligence operations at that time remains in his position.

there was, according to a harshly critical senate report Released last June, “lack of consensus regarding the severity of the threat posed on January 6, 2021.”

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“In the months following the attack on the US Capitol, there is still no consensus among USCP officials regarding the threat analysis of intelligence reports prior to January 6, 2021,” the report said.

The findings of the daily intelligence reports are described in Congressional testimony and Senate reports. But the AP obtained on Friday evening the full versions of the January 4, 5 and 6 documents, which were marked as “for official use only” from the previous year.

On each of the three days, documents revealed, Capitol police ranked the potential for acts of civil disobedience and arrests arising from the “Stop the Steel” protest planned for the Capitol as “highly improbable.” The documents ranked that event and gatherings planned by about 20 different other organizers on a scale from “remote” to “almost certain” in terms of the likelihood of major disruptions. All were rated as “remote,” “highly unlikely,” or “impossible,” the documents show.

A January 6 report about the “Stop the Steal” rally says, “No further information has been received regarding the precise actions planned by this group.”

The Million MAGA march planned by Trump supporters is rated as “impossible” in the document, with officials saying it was “possible” that organizers could demonstrate at the Capitol complex, and although there was talk of counter-protesters, There are “no clear plans by those groups at this time.”

Those optimistic forecasts are hard to meet with separate intelligence assessments compiled by Capitol Police in late December and early January. Those documents obtained by the AP warned that the crowd could number in the thousands and include members of extremist groups such as the Proud Boys.

For example, a memo dated January 3, 2021, warned of a “dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike” because of “white supremacists, militia members and others who actively promote violence”. because of the possible presence of “.

“Unlike the protests following the last election, the targets of pro-Trump supporters were not necessarily the first opponents, but Congress itself in 6th place,” the report said.

Among the mixed intelligence is a January 5 bulletin prepared by the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office warning about the possibility of a “war” in the Capitol. Top leaders of the Capitol Police have said they were unaware of the document at the time. FBI Director Chris Wray has said that the report was circulated through the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an Internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies.

Capitol Police officials have repeatedly insisted that they have no specific or credible intelligence that any demonstration at the Capitol would result in a massive attack on the building. Despite investigations into intelligence deficiencies within the agenda, Yogananda Pittman, assistant chief intelligence in-charge at the time of the riots, remains in that role.

The current police chief, J. Thomas Manger defends Pittman In a September interview With the AP, pointing to her decision when she was acting head of state to implement recommendations made by the Inspector General and expand the department’s internal intelligence capabilities, so officers were so focused on intelligence gathered by other law enforcement agencies. No need to trust.

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