Experts: Jan. 6 report shows systemic FBI failure to predict domestic terrorism events
FBI Director Christopher Wray tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that Russia is still trying to interfere in US elections (AFP Photo/Saul LOEB)

New York Times reporter Adam Goldman, who frequently covers the FBI, remains one of the reporters focusing on the failures that the federal law enforcement had on Jan. 6 and why they failed so spectacularly to stop the violence that happened at the U.S. Capitol despite having the necessary information to do so.

"The mandate, in fact, is to investigate and stop international terrorism and domestic terrorism," Goldman explained. "So the committee itself has been well publicized now, spent a lot of time focussing on Trump but there was a subset, a number of people looking at the FBI."

There were four working groups within the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress and the one Goldman cites has received very little press attention, much less public attention.

"The reports I reviewed came to these two conclusions: one is there's a fixation on lone wolves we've been hearing it for years and years," Goldman continued. "There isn't a single DOJ or FBI person that gets up to talk about terrorism that doesn't talk about lone wolves are a big threat. They are. But what this committee draft document said was that in itself was causing something called an anchor bias. And it was literally weighing down their critical thinking. You see this in this red cell exercise they did when they couldn't move beyond, four examples of lone wolves and failed to see the wider movements that were happening with the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, the two of them especially."

The second thing in the report was the "ineffective prioritization," where the federal law enforcement bands together "antigovernment and racially motivated violent extremists like white supremacists are on the same tier and thus deserve the same attention. This draft document pointed out that was ineffective."

He went on to say that because of the history of the FBI infiltrating the Black Panthers and some of the more untoward things that J. Edgar Hoover did, particularly during the Civil Rights Movement. The backlash from that has made them shy about involving themselves in groups that might have extremist ideals but don't commit acts of terrorism.

"That explains why nothing goes into place after Trump calls them" to stand back and stand by, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace explained.

He went on to say that one question is why the FBI has both groups infiltrated with informants who were delivering information about the Jan. 6 attacks, why then they were ignored by the FBI.

"That raises concerns about what the agents were asking informants and how the FBI was driving intelligence to get the information to those informants," said Goldman.

Former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa, who worked in the counter-terrorism decision, acknowledged that there are structural problems in the Bureau. She noted, however, that the domestic counter-terrorism strategy outlined by the White House also talks about lone wolves, saying that most attackers come from that collection. That report also mentions militias and other forms of extremism, however.

"The FBI was receiving a lot of tips from social media from some of their informants, other fusion centers and they weren't putting it together," she indicated as a problem. And so, to me, I don't think this idea of a failure of imagination is applicable here. I mean, if Osama bin Laden had been tweeting for months in advance he was going to send two planes into a building and then that happened, we wouldn't call it a failure of imagination we would call it a failure to react and stop that event."

Former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal agreed, saying that these reports detail a "real problem in the intelligence community" when it comes to sorting through threats like these.

"But as Asha is saying the explicit reports on social media of a planned attack on the Capitol on the day the election is being certified should break highly up on the FBI's list of priorities in the connect the dots thing," Katyal said. "The FBI didn't miss a few small warnings here, they missed giant interstate signs flashing in bright red lights saying an attack is coming."

See the full discussion in the videos below or at the link here.

Part 1

Part 2