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FBI, NYPD Warned US Capitol Police About Possible Violence Ahead of DC Riots, Report Says

© AP Photo / Julio CortezPolice stand guard after a day of riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
Police stand guard after a day of riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 - Sputnik International
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On January 6, the rally of American conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump against the certification of the Electoral College vote turned into a violent march to the Capitol, which ended with rioters breaching security, ransacking the building and forcing lawmakers to evacuate from the chamber.

The New York City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations informed the US Capitol Police about the risk of violence during the Wednesday protests in Washington, DC, NBC News reported, citing senior law enforcement officials.

According to the report, in order to urge some known extremists not to fly to Washington, the FBI visited more than a dozen of them, who are already under investigation.

"Social media is just part of a full intelligence picture, and while there was First Amendment-protected activity on social media to include some people making threats, to this point, investigators have not found that there was an organized plot to access the Capitol," NBC quotes a senior FBI official as saying, who had earlier said that the authorities had no indication that there was a risk of violence.

The information, unreported previously, added to concerns about what intelligence authorities had examined prior to the Capitol riot, which resulted in the death of police officer Brian Sicknick and four other people, including 35-year-old veteran Ashli Babbit, who was shot by the police while reportedly trying to break into the chamber. 

As can be seen on multiple videos of Wednesday's US Capitol siege, the local police, which serve to protect the lawmakers and the building itself, was unprepared for the security threat, as they apparently had misjudged the intelligence.

© REUTERS / ERIN SCOTTA "Make America Great Again" campaign cap sits in the debris left behind at the West Terrace entrance checkpoint of the U.S. Capitol a day after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2021.
FBI, NYPD Warned US Capitol Police About Possible Violence Ahead of DC Riots, Report Says - Sputnik International
A "Make America Great Again" campaign cap sits in the debris left behind at the West Terrace entrance checkpoint of the U.S. Capitol a day after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2021.

Along with other important legislative security officials, the head of the Capitol police was soon pushed out of his role.

According to the report, there is clear evidence confirming that some of the extremists had been posting their plans to storm the building on their social media accounts, with some of them reportedly calling the rally on January 6 "Operation Occupy the Capitol".

Consequently, the report raises questions of whether the federal security agencies took the posts of right-wing activists seriously and why law enforcement did not intervene in the Capitol storming until after the rioters had reached the chambers.

On Friday, Steven D'Antuono, who leads the FBI's Washington field office, was asked whether the failed intelligence was the cause of the slow police reaction to the violence, to which he answered negatively.

"There was no indication that there was anything [planned] other than First Amendment-protected activity," he said.

Wednesday's Mayhem in Washington, DC

In an attempt to block Congress from certifying the presidential election results, which should have cemented Democrat Joe Biden's win, thousands of Trump supporters aggressively stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday.

Black Lives Matter protester Jorge Mendoza holds a sign while rallying at the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, in Portland, Ore. Following an agreement between Democratic Gov. Kate Brown and the Trump administration to reduce federal officers in the city, nightly protests remained largely peaceful without major confrontations between demonstrators and officers. - Sputnik International
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Police were targeted by the rioters with chemical irritants, metal pipes, and other objects. According to videos shared online, police soon let the protesters pass the security fences, and shortly after that the rioters broke into the building

The president asked his supporters to attend the rally days prior to the events. At the rally before Congress convened to count the votes, Trump urged them to keep fighting to overturn the election results. 

When the violence broke out, Trump and his allies repeatedly called on the rioters to calm down and "go home in peace". However, the speed of Trump's reaction to the chaos in the US capital was viewed by some as insufficient, to say the least. 

Since then, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats along with some Republicans are set to go ahead with impeaching the president in the coming days over his role in the assault, if he himself does not resign.

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