Inspector general faults Trump's DHS for failure to warn about Jan. 6 threats
Capitol Insurrectionists (Shutterstock)

The Department of Homeland Security identified "specific" threats related to the Jan. 6, 2021, presidential election certification but failed to widely share that intelligence until two days after the deadly U.S. Capitol riot, according to a new investigative report.

The DHS Office of Inspector General faulted Donald Trump's administration for the failure after determining that three different divisions within the department's Office of Intelligence and Analysis identified the threats but only emailed that information to local Washington, D.C., partners instead of widely disseminating those intelligence products as would normally be done, reported CNN.

"Such threats, the report said, included storming the Capitol, targeting politicians and law enforcement and 'sacrificing their lives while conducting violence,'" CNN reported. "Because of the lapse in information sharing, DHS 'was unable to provide its many state, local and Federal partners with timely, actionable and predictive intelligence,' the [inspector general] found."

The report, which is the first of three DHS watchdog reports to be released on the attack, blamed "inexperienced" collectors at the Open Source Collection Operations branch for failing to produce "actionable" information, and found that collectors felt "hesitancy" after facing criticism for the office's handling of intelligence during summer 2020 protests in Portland, Oregon.

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Collectors messaged one another several times before Jan. 6 about threats they had found online, including a map of the Capitol circulating online and threats to hang Democrats in Washington, but they did not feel the comments met the threshold for reporting.

"Overall, open source collectors explained to us that they did not think storming the U.S. Capitol was possible, and, therefore, they dismissed this specific type of threat as hyperbole," the report says.

The watchdog blamed inadequate training on open source collecting, lack of understanding of guidelines and hesitancy related to Portland criticism, and made five recommendations for improving training and the process for reporting and reviewing open source intelligence products.