A private intelligence company issued a dire warning on Dec. 24 about Donald Trump supporters plotting a violent insurrection on Jan. 6.
SITE Intelligence Group sent the bulletin, which described in detail the plans being discussed on pro-Trump online forums, to law enforcement agencies and other subscribers more than a week before the riot, which undercuts arguments that authorities failed to respond appropriately because they were unaware of the threat, reported Politico.
"The intelligence was there," said Ryan Shapiro, the executive director of Property of the People. "The agencies had it, Capitol police leadership had it, yet they approached this obvious threat from the far right with a startling degree of nonchalance. Contrast this with the hypervigilant, militaristic state responses to peaceful protests by Black Lives Matter and other progressive groups. Jan. 6 wasn't an intelligence failure. It was a political failure by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement."
Rita Katz, the founder and executive director of SITE, told the website that the response was the most "profound failure to act" she has seen in decades of sharing information with the U.S. government.
"A potpourri of communities overtly strategized to storm the Capitol building and arrest — if not outright kill — public officials and carry out a coup," Katz said.
"Law enforcement officials were alerting their superiors and other agencies to the threats SITE had identified — many of which ended up manifesting that day, just as they were written," Katz added. "These warnings were distributed by the FBI and other agencies well before Jan. 6."