Security Officials Blame Poor Intel for Failure to Blunt Capitol Attack

Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2021 09:47 am
New Report Warns of Rising Threat of Domestic Terrorism

WASHINGTON — A new intelligence report delivered to Congress on Wednesday by the Biden administration warned about the rising threat of militias and white supremacists, adding urgency to calls for more resources to fight the growing problem of homegrown extremism in the United States.

In particular, the intelligence assessment highlighted the threat from militias, predicting that it would be elevated in the coming months because of “contentious sociopolitical factors,” likely a reference to the fallout from the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob and the increasingly partisan political climate.

Racially motivated violent extremists, such as white supremacists, were most likely to conduct mass casualty attacks against civilians while militias typically targeted law enforcement and government personnel and facilities, the report said. Lone offenders or small cells of extremists were more likely than organizations to carry out attacks, it said.

President Biden requested the comprehensive threat assessment shortly after he took office in the wake of the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, which laid bare the toxic domestic extremism that has shaken the country. Only the brief executive summary was declassified and made public while a classified version was sent to Congress and the White House.
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Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2021 09:44 am
QAnon Supporter Allegedly Fired Paintballs at Army Reservists, Yelled ‘This Is for America’

A QAnon supporter allegedly fired paintball rounds at Army reservists at the Wisconsin Army Reserve Center in Pewaukee on Monday, authorities said. Defendant Ian Alan Olson, 31, drove a Subaru covered in spray-painted QAnon slogans, stepped out, yelled “This is for America,” and shot two or three rounds from an AR-15 style gun, according to the affidavit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (h/t The Daily Beast).

He missed, and his firearm seemed to jam, authorities said. The reservists tackled him and held him until law enforcement arrived, authorities said. Incidentally, one of the alleged targets is also described as being in law enforcement.

That was not the end of it. Authorities said Olson was booked into the Waukesha County jail on state charges. Olson allegedly said he just came back from Washington D.C., having tried to deliver a message there.

His sedan featured spray-painted message like the letter Q on the passenger-side doors, “Trust my Plan,” on the hood, “WWG1WGA” (meaning the QAnon slogan “where we go one, we go all”) on the rear bumper, and “OMW 2 DC” on the rear window. Federal investigators said this last one was an apparent reference to the nation’s capital. According to the FBI, reports from the U.S. Capitol Police showed officers transported him for psychiatric evaluation earlier this month after he made several disturbing statements on March 3.

Law and Crime

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Reply Mon 22 Mar, 2021 10:05 am
Prosecutors Unseal Conspiracy Indictment Against Four Proud Boys Who Were Ready for ‘F***ing War’ on Jan. 6

As much of the world looked in horror at the carnage inside the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6th, members of the far-right Proud Boys allegedly celebrated the invasion on social media and inside their encrypted chat networks.

“I’m proud as **** what we accomplished yesterday, but we need to start planning and we are starting planning, for a Biden presidency,” Zachary Rehl, reportedly the leader of the group’s Philadephia chapter, was quoted saying in the indictment unsealed on Friday.

Together with their fellow Proud Boys Ethan Nordean and Joseph Biggs—who were previously charged—the four failed in their efforts to prevent the certification of President Joe Biden’s election, which completed as scheduled despite grumblings from pro-Donald Trump Republicans from the margins. But the four of them succeeded in being hit with a six-count federal indictment, charging them with conspiracy, obstructing law enforcement, destroying government property and other offenses.

Their indictment shows them using programmable handheld radios, encrypted messaging applications, and other equipment to communicate and coordinate during the Jan. 6th siege, planning for the event as far back as two days after Election Day.

“It’s time for ******* War if they steal this ****,” Biggs, a self-described organizer for Proud Boys events also known as “Sergeant Biggs,” allegedly wrote on Nov. 5.

Nordean, who has appeared on the conspiracy theory outlet InfoWars under the name Rufio Panman, ratcheted up the supposedly revolutionary rhetoric later that month.

“We tried playing nice and by the rules, now you will deal with the monster you created,” Nordean is quoted writing on Nov. 27. “The spirit of 1776 has resurfaced like the and has created groups like the Proudboys and we will not be extinguished. We will grow that guides us. We are unstoppable, unrelenting and now . flame that fuels us and spread like love . . unforgiving. Good luck to all you traitors of this country we so deeply love … you’re going to need it.”

Rehl is quoted writing that same day: “Hopefully firing squads are for the traitors that are trying to steal the election from the American people.

On Dec. 27—the day Trump tweeted “See you in Washington, DC, on January 6th”—Nordean created an online fundraising campaign for “protective gear and communications” to be used by Proud Boys on the day of the siege, prosecutors say.

According to the indictment, the Proud Boys became concerned that their encrypted channels became compromised after Metropolitan Police arrested the group’s chairman Enrique Tarrio and examined his phone on Jan. 4.

“Donohoe then created a new channel on the encrypted messaging application, entitled ‘New MOSD,’ and took steps to destroy or ‘nuke’ the earlier channel,” prosecutors say, adding that all four of them joined that channel along with an unindicted co-conspirator.

On the night before the siege, that unindicted co-conspirator allegedly told the group: “Rufio is in charge, cops are the primary threat, don’t get caught by them or BLM, don’t get drunk until off the street.”

Prosecutors say the Proud Boys followed the “directives” of Tarrio and the group’s four indicted leaders not to wear their traditional colors of black and yellow and that several held walkie-talkie-style devices.

“Nordean and Biggs carried and used a bullhorn to direct the group,” the indictment states.

Court papers show them storming toward the building for more than an hour after breaking past the barricades at 12:53 p.m. Eastern Time.

Dominic Pezzola, who has been charged separately, allegedly broke through the window of the building with a riot shield at 2:13 p.m., and some six minutes later, the group’s “Boots on the Ground” channel lit up with another message.

“We just stormed the capitol,” the message read, according to the indictment.

Recently declared a terrorist organization by Canada, the Proud Boys describe themselves as a fraternal group of “Western Chauvinists,” but anti-hate watchdogs like the Anti-Defamation League call them a violent, nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic extremists who bear the hallmarks of a gang.

Law and Crime
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Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2021 09:39 am
Trump was 'manifestly false' in claiming the Capitol rioters posed 'zero threat,' said his former chief of staff

Donald Trump's ex-chief of staff has said that it was "manifestly false" of the former president to suggest that a mob of his supporters who breached the Capitol building in January posed "zero threat."

Mick Mulvaney, who resigned as the White House special envoy to Northern Ireland after the deadly January 6 riot, told CNN that he was "surprised" to hear the president say his supporters were "hugging and kissing" police officers. Five people, including a police officer, died as a result of the attack.

"I was surprised to hear the President say that," Mulvaney told CNN.

"Clearly there were people who were behaving themselves, and then there were people who absolutely were not, but to come out and say that everyone was fine and there was no risk, that's just manifestly false — people died, other people were severely injured."

"It's not right to say there was no risk. I don't know how you can say that when people were killed," he said.

Last week, Trump spoke to Fox News about the events of January 6 in comments that significantly represented the nature of the attack. Hundreds of his supporters had breached police lines to enter the Capitol building after the president repeatedly and falsely claimed the election had been "stolen" from him due to widespread voter fraud.

"It was zero threat right from the start — it was zero threat," Trump told Fox News on Thursday.

"Look, they went in. They shouldn't have done it. Some of them went in and they're hugging the police and the guards. They had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in and then they walked in, and then they walked out."

Around 140 officers were injured during the attack, according to the head of the Capitol Police union.

Mulvaney, who served as Acting Chief of Staff between January 2019 and March 2020, was one of several senior Trump officials who resigned in the wake of the attack. During the siege, he had criticized President Trump for failing to issue a stronger statement condemning the violence and urging supporters to go home.

Despite his condemnation of Trump's behavior around the Capitol riot, Mulvaney told CNN he would "absolutely" support Trump if he sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

That in a nutshell is what is wrong with our country today. All reasonable people know that Trump has destroyed our country in so many ways, directly and indirectly, encouraging the likes of proud boys and oath keepers in their racisms' and desire to "make the country great again" according to their own prejudiced outlook is just one of them. And yet, those same reasonable leaders who know better come and say, "but I am going to vote for him in 2024. He said he didn't know how Trump could say the rioters posed no risk? Where in the world has he been?
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2021 10:03 pm
I have a few theories, or at least suspicions about the insurrection......I'll be back..........have a bad headache but I'm very keen on your thread, Rev.
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2021 09:00 am
Thanks, I know exactly how you feel with headaches. For me it is mostly allergies, this years pollen is terrible.
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Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2021 12:05 pm
UPDATE 1-U.S. Capitol complex on lockdown after reports motorist rams officers

WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - Streets surrounding the U.S. Capitol and congressional office buildings were locked down, with a heavy police presence, on Friday, a Reuters eyewitness said, while Capitol police said they were responding to reports that a motorist had tried to run down two officers.

Capitol police said they were responding to reports that someone rammed a vehicle into two officers and a suspect was in custody. "Both officers are injured. All three have been transported to the hospital," their statement said.

Dozens of police cars, marked and unmarked, raced toward the Capitol building. All roads leading to the complex were blocked by police or police officers.

A helicopter was seen hovering overhead and observers were ordered to leave the area. Videos from the scene showed what looked like two people on stretchers being loaded into ambulances.

Authorities have begun only in the past couple of weeks to remove the outer ring of high, razor-wire-topped fencing erected around the sprawling Capitol complex after an attack on Jan. 6 by thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
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Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2021 05:38 am
Family and friends concerned Noah Green was unraveling before Capitol attack

Brendan Green said the troubling signs his brother was unraveling built up until the night before authorities said Noah Green launched an attack outside the Capitol.

Brendan Green said his brother was violently ill Thursday evening in the Virginia apartment they shared, before he left and sent a forlorn text that was one of their final communications.

“ ‘I’m sorry but I’m just going to go and live and be homeless,’ ” Brendan Green said the text read. “Thank you for everything that you’ve done. I looked up to you when I was a kid. You inspired me a lot.”

Less than 24 hours later, Capitol Police said a man crashed his vehicle into two officers at a barricade outside the Capitol before getting out of the car and charging them with a knife. At least one officer opened fire, fatally wounding him. Several people familiar with the investigation identified the suspect as Noah Green.

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Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2021 08:32 am
`Clear the Capitol,´ Pence pleaded, timeline of riot shows

12pm: Trump tells fans at rally 'I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard'

12.53pm Unruly crowd starts to overpower police at the Capitol. Trump is still speaking

1.45pm: Crowd overpowers Capitol police

2.13pm Pence is evacuated from the Senate chamber

2.24pm Trump tweets Pence 'didn't have the courage' not to certify the vote

3.13pm: Trump tweets telling people to 'remain peaceful'. By now, they are inside the Capitol and rioter Ashli Babbitt has been shot dead

3.19pm: Pelosi and Schumer call the Pentagon

3.44pm: Schumer begs Pentagon officials to tell Trump to tell the rioters to go home

4.06pm: Pence calls the Pentagon, telling them to 'clear the Capitol'

4.17pm: Trump releases a video telling rioters to go home peacefully and saying 'go home, you're very special, we love you'

4.30pm: Military plan is 'finalized' but still no troops on ground

5.20pm: First National Guard troops arrive

8pm: Capitol is declared secure

A new Pentagon report of the timeline of the January 6 Capitol riot has revealed how leaders Mike Pence, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi called defense officials begging for help after being evacuated from the Senate floor but received none for hours.

The report was obtained by The Associated Press and details of it were published on Saturday for the first time.

It details some of the calls that were made between congressional leaders and Pentagon bosses on January 6 while rioters overpowered Capitol police.

The first rioters made their way inside at around 1.45pm. Pence was evacuated from the floor at 2.13pm.

Between 2.13pm and 4.06pm, Pelosi, Schumer and Pence all called for help. But it took until 5.20pm for the first troops to join the effort to contain the crowd.

Now, there are ongoing questions over why it took so long for the military to send back-up.

The new report reveals that officials were concerned there would be a national insurrection around the country that would require boots on the ground in multiple cities.

'We must establish order,' said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a call with Pentagon leaders.

The timeline adds another layer of understanding about the state of fear and panic while the insurrection played out, and lays bare the inaction by then-President Donald Trump and how that void contributed to a slowed response by the military and law enforcement.

It shows that the intelligence missteps, tactical errors and bureaucratic delays were eclipsed by the government´s failure to comprehend the scale and intensity of a violent uprising by Americans.

With Trump not engaged, it fell to Pentagon officials, a handful of senior White House aides, the leaders of Congress and the vice president holed up in a secure bunker to manage the chaos.

While the timeline helps to crystalize the frantic character of the crisis, the document, along with hours of sworn testimony, provides only an incomplete picture about how the insurrection could have advanced with such swift and lethal force, interrupting the congressional certification of Joe Biden as president and delaying the peaceful transfer of power, the hallmark of American democracy.

Lawmakers, protected to this day by National Guard troops, will hear from the inspector general of the Capitol Police this coming week.

'Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,' Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which is investigating the siege, said last month.

The timeline fills in some of those gaps.

At 4:08 p.m. on Jan. 6, as the rioters roamed the Capitol and after they had menacingly called out for Pelosi, D-Calif., and yelled for Pence to be hanged, the vice president was in a secure location, phoning Christopher Miller, the acting defense secretary, and demanding answers.

There had been a highly public rift between Trump and Pence, with Trump furious that his vice president refused to halt the Electoral College certification. Interfering with that process was an act that Pence considered unconstitutional. The Constitution makes clear that the vice president´s role in this joint session of Congress is largely ceremonial.

Pence's call to Miller lasted only a minute. Pence said the Capitol was not secure and he asked military leaders for a deadline for securing the building, according to the document.

By this point it had already been two hours since the mob overwhelmed Capitol Police unprepared for an insurrection. Rioters broke into the building, seized the Senate and paraded to the House. In their path, they left destruction and debris. Dozens of officers were wounded, some gravely.

Just three days earlier, government leaders had talked about the use of the National Guard. On the afternoon of Jan. 3, as lawmakers were sworn in for the new session of Congress, Miller and Milley gathered with Cabinet members to discuss the upcoming election certification. They also met with Trump.

In that meeting at the White House, Trump approved the activation of the D.C. National Guard and also told the acting defense secretary to take whatever action needed as events unfolded, according to the information obtained by the AP.

The next day, Jan. 4, the defense officials spoke by phone with Cabinet members, including the acting attorney general, and finalized details of the Guard deployment.

The Guard's role was limited to traffic intersections and checkpoints around the city, based in part on strict restrictions mandated by district officials. Miller also authorized Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to deploy, if needed, the D.C. Guard´s emergency reaction force stationed at Joint Base Andrews.

The Trump administration and the Pentagon were wary of a heavy military presence, in part because of criticism officials faced for the seemingly heavy-handed National Guard and law enforcement efforts to counter civil unrest in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In particular, the D.C. Guard´s use of helicopters to hover over crowds in downtown Washington during those demonstrations drew widespread criticism. That unauthorized move prompted the Pentagon to more closely control the D.C. Guard

'There was a lot of things that happened in the spring that the department was criticized for,' Robert Salesses, who is serving as the assistant defense secretary for homeland defense and global security, said at a congressional hearing last month.

On the eve of Trump's rally Jan. 6 near the White House, the first 255 National Guard troops arrived in the district, and Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed in a letter to the administration that no other military support was needed.

By the morning of Jan. 6, crowds started gathering at the Ellipse before Trump´s speech. According to the Pentagon's plans, the acting defense secretary would only be notified if the crowd swelled beyond 20,000.

Before long it was clear that the crowd was far more in control of events than the troops and law enforcement there to maintain order.

Trump, just before noon, was giving his speech and he told supporters to march to the Capitol. The crowd at the rally was at least 10,000. By 1:15 p.m., the procession was well on its way there.

As protesters reached the Capitol grounds, some immediately became violent, busting through weak police barriers in front of the building and beating up officers who stood in their way.

At 1:49 p.m., as the violence escalated, then- Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund called Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, to request assistance.

Sund´s voice was 'cracking with emotion,' Walker later told a Senate committee. Walker immediately called Army leaders to inform them of the request.

Twenty minutes later, around 2:10 p.m., the first rioters were beginning to break through the doors and windows of the Senate. They then started a march through the marbled halls in search of the lawmakers who were counting the electoral votes. Alarms inside the building announced a lockdown.

Sund frantically called Walker again and asked for at least 200 guard members 'and to send more if they are available.'

But even with the advance Cabinet-level preparation, no help was immediately on the way.

Over the next 20 minutes, as senators ran to safety and the rioters broke into the chamber and rifled through their desks, Army Secretary McCarthy spoke with the mayor and Pentagon leaders about Sund´s request.

On the Pentagon´s third floor E Ring, senior Army leaders were huddled around the phone for what they described as a 'panicked' call from the D.C. Guard. As the gravity of the situation became clear, McCarthy bolted from the meeting, sprinting down the hall to Miller´s office and breaking into a meeting.

As minutes ticked by, rioters breached additional entrances in the Capitol and made their way to the House. They broke glass in doors that led to the chamber and tried to gain entry as a group of lawmakers was still trapped inside.

At 2:25 p.m., McCarthy told his staff to prepare to move the emergency reaction force to the Capitol. The force could be ready to move in 20 minutes.

At 2:44 p.m., Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to climb through a window that led to the House floor.

Shortly after 3 p.m., McCarthy provided 'verbal approval' of the activation of 1,100 National Guard troops to support the D.C. police and the development of a plan for the troops´ deployment duties, locations and unit sizes.

Minutes later the Guard´s emergency reaction force left Joint Base Andrews for the D.C. armory. There, they would prepare to head to the Capitol once Miller, the acting defense secretary, gave final approval.

Meanwhile, the Joint Staff set up a video teleconference call that stayed open until about 10 p.m. that night, allowing staff to communicate any updates quickly to military leaders.

At 3:19 p.m., Pelosi and Schumer were calling the Pentagon for help and were told the National Guard had been approved.

But military and law enforcement leaders struggled over the next 90 minutes to execute the plan as the Army and Guard called all troops in from their checkpoints, issued them new gear, laid out a new plan for their mission and briefed them on their duties.

The Guard troops had been prepared only for traffic duties. Army leaders argued that sending them into a volatile combat situation required additional instruction to keep both them and the public safe.

By 3:37 p.m., the Pentagon sent its own security forces to guard the homes of defense leaders. No troops had yet reached the Capitol. By 3:44 p.m., the congressional leaders escalated their pleas.

'Tell POTUS to tweet everyone should leave,' Schumer implored the officials, using the acronym for the president of the United States. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., asked about calling up active duty military.

At 3:48 p.m., frustrated that the D.C. Guard hadn't fully developed a plan to link up with police, the Army secretary dashed from the Pentagon to D.C. police headquarters to help coordinate with law enforcement.

Trump broke his silence at 4:17 p.m., tweeting to his followers to 'go home and go in peace.'

By about 4:30 p.m., the military plan was finalized and Walker had approval to send the Guard to the Capitol. The reports of state capitals breached in other places turned out to be bogus.

At about 4:40 p.m. Pelosi and Schumer were again on the phone with Milley and the Pentagon leadership, asking Miller to secure the perimeter.

But the acrimony was becoming obvious.

The congressional leadership on the call 'accuses the National Security apparatus of knowing that protestors planned to conduct an assault on the Capitol,' the timeline said.

The call lasts 30 minutes. Pelosi´s spokesman acknowledges there was a brief discussion of the obvious intelligence failures that led to the insurrection.

It would be another hour before the first contingent of 155 Guard members were at the Capitol. Dressed in riot gear, they began arriving at 5:20 p.m. They started moving out the rioters, but there were few, if any, arrests. by police.

At 8 p.m. the Capitol was declared secure.

0 Replies
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2021 06:58 am
WASHINGTON — The Capitol Police had clearer advance warnings about the Jan. 6 attack than were previously known, including the potential for violence in which “Congress itself is the target.” But officers were instructed by their leaders not to use their most aggressive tactics to hold off the mob, according to a scathing new report by the agency’s internal investigator.

In a 104-page document, the inspector general, Michael A. Bolton, criticized the way the Capitol Police prepared for and responded to the mob violence on Jan. 6. The report was reviewed by The New York Times and will be the subject of a Capitol Hill hearing on Thursday.

Mr. Bolton found that the agency’s leaders failed to adequately prepare despite explicit warnings that pro-Trump extremists posed a threat to law enforcement and civilians and that the police used defective protective equipment. He also found that the leaders ordered their Civil Disturbance Unit to refrain from using its most powerful crowd-control tools — like stun grenades — to put down the onslaught.

The report offers the most devastating account to date of the lapses and miscalculations around the most violent attack on the Capitol in two centuries.

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