By definition, the rational object of terrorism is to promote terror. According to the FBI's definition, any violent actor attempting to further an ideological goal would be considered a terrorist.
On the message board TheDonald.win, supporters of President Donald Trump openly discussed whether they should erect gallows or guillotines when they attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, said an analysis from Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan research group, according to the Washington Post.
In a 135-page report, Advance Democracy collected all of the cached comments and conversations that took place on TheDonald.win involving Jan. 6. They include "promoting widespread recriminations against Trump for fueling the attack through tweets and other online forums played a crucial role in fomenting, planning and celebrating the siege," the group explained.
It confirms a previous report from ProPublica that walked through other sites and found similar discussions.
"We came up with the idea to occupy just outside the CAPITOL on Jan 6th," leaders of the Stop the Steal movement wrote on Dec. 23, according to ProPublica.
The goal, according to the Advance Democracy report, was to "build a gallows for hanging — or simply terrifying — members of Congress deemed disloyal."
"I think you should build a guillotine," a user named Camarokirk suggested Dec. 30. "A guillotine is more scary (sic)."
"It's better symbolism in every way. But it might prove more difficult to get that big blade into town," AsaNisiMAGA replied.
"If this does not change, then I advocate, Revolution and adherence to the rules of war," wrote user I3DI on MyMilitia.com. "I say, take the hill or die trying."
Their comments remained visible "for weeks," the Post said, on TheDonald.win.
As impeachment prosecutors explained in the days that followed, the planning of the violence happened "in plain sight."
"It's not a spur-of-the-moment demonstration that just popped up," said Larry Schaefer, a 34-year veteran of the Capitol Police. "We have a planned, known demonstration that has a propensity for violence in the past and threats to carry weapons — why would you not prepare yourself as we have done in the past?"
The analysis of the posts revealed arguments over the type of wood to be used, the rope and more specifics about building it.