GAO: 7 Federal Agencies 'Were Aware of Potential Violence Planned' for January 6 -- 'Months Prior'

By Susan Jones | May 2, 2022 | 12:24pm EDT
A crowd gathers outside the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)
A crowd gathers outside the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - "Open source data indicated that the potential for violence at the U.S. Capitol appeared online months prior to the attack on January 6, 2021," the GAO said in a report released publicly on Monday.

Ten selected federal agencies were aware of "planned events" on January 6, "and seven were aware of potential violence planned for that day."

The agencies got their information "through manual web searches, sharing with each other, and social media platforms," or "open-source data."

Yet the violence happened anyway, as a mob of Trump supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol, which was unprepared to deal with such an attack.

GAO gives a few examples, as follows:

"[P]rior to January 6, the FBI reviewed information regarding an online threat that discussed calls for violence, including 'Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood...Get violent...Go there ready for war.'

"In addition, in mid-December 2020, DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis received information regarding threats to Congress and elected officials and discussions of bringing guns into D.C. on January 6.

"Further, one agency received data from a social media platform on December 24, 2020, that included a user threatening to kill politicians and coordinate armed forces on January 6."

GAO said it was asked to review information related to the January 6 Capitol attack.

The report on open-source data and who knew what is the fifth in a series of reports on aspects of the attack. GAO said this report "addresses what open source data selected federal agencies obtained and shared, as well as threat products they developed that "leveraged such data."

Agencies in GAO’s review included those within DHS; the Departments of Justice and the Interior; Architect of the Capitol; U.S. Capitol Police; House and Senate Sergeants at Arms; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, as they had specific roles in preparing for the planned events of January 6.

GAO says it interviewed officials from Facebook, Parler, and Twitter about the extent to which they shared information with agencies.

The report released today is a public version of a sensitive report issued in February 2022. Information that agencies deemed sensitive has been omitted.

You can read the full report here.

 

 

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