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FBI, Homeland ignored intelligence suggesting disturbances before Jan. 6: report

The Intelligence Community did not raise the alarm, the report said, "in part because they could not conceive that the U.S. Capitol Building would be overrun by rioters."

Published: June 27, 2023 8:47pm

A report from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released Tuesday suggests the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security ignored or minimized considerable evidence that individuals and organizations might turn violent during the events of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Former President Donald Trump had disputed the results of the 2020 presidential election, asserting that he had legitimately won the contest but that election fraud in key swing states had handed the win to President Joe Biden. As the Senate met to confirm the results of the election, supporters of the former president entered the building in protest. Some of those individuals turned violent, resulting in a riot in and outside of the Capitol.

Committee Chairman Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., called the failure to act on the warning signs the result of a "a failure of imagination to see threats that the Capitol could be breached as credible," the Associated Press reported.

The Intelligence Community did not raise the alarm, the report said, "in part because they could not conceive that the U.S. Capitol Building would be overrun by rioters."

Numerous individuals and organizations openly suggested the possibility of seizing the Capitol or resorting to violence. Moreover, the government was aware of such online activity. Social media platform Parler, for instance, directly sent the FBI numerous posts it found unsettling.

The agencies did not fail to collect relevant intelligence, according to the report. Rather, the intelligence agencies "failed to fully and accurately assess the severity of the threat identified by that intelligence, and formally disseminate guidance to their law enforcement partners."

Peters, for his part, asserted that the Intelligence Community needed to recognize the shortcomings in its handling of the episode to prevent another such occurrence.

"Everybody should be accountable because everybody failed," he added.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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