Feds tracked potential for election violence as far back as August 2020

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(CNN)Federal instrumentality enforcement tracked the imaginable for election-related unit arsenic acold backmost arsenic August 2020, which is earlier than antecedently known, according to a authorities report released Monday.

The Government Accountability Office said successful its study that national agencies had tracked the imaginable unit connected societal media and different websites. Furthermore, the agencies produced dozens of interior reports anterior to the January 6, 2021, insurrection informing that protesters whitethorn question to onslaught the US Capitol, usage improvised weapons and perchance beryllium armed.

The GAO study and its accompanying timeline compare, for the archetypal time, however instrumentality enforcement obtained and assessed a flood of societal media posts detailing plans for violence, and they connection penetration into however that accusation was shared among 10 national and aggregate authorities and section agencies.

    "All 10 selected agencies — including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis who person pb roles successful countering home coercion and convulsive extremism — were alert of open-source information astir planned events connected January 6, and 7 were alert of imaginable unit planned for that day," the study said.

      Specific calls for violence

      The interactive timeline successful the Monday study indicates that information was passed to the FBI from societal media level Parler that showed a idiosyncratic had posted, "We request to wide an equipped unit of American Patriots...to respond to the legislature events of January 6th and travel what the Declaration of Independence has dictated america to do."

      Parler besides alerted officials to different station connected December 24, 2020, that said, "I'm trying to find [people who privation to perpetrate violence] connected the 6th not conscionable a peaceful [march]...is this wherever I should beryllium looking?"

        According to the report, US Park Police obtained alarming accusation from a website from a far-right radical called Patriot Action for America that showed enactment members were "encouraged to amass 'a ample capable unit of American national patriots to, astatine each costs, forestall ... the inaugurat[ion]...' " The website besides appeared to promote members to detain Democratic politicians for "trial by subject tribunal for precocious treason," the study said.

        The US Park Police developed a little connected December 28, 2020, identifying the "StopTheSteal" and different events planned for January 6, and noted that radical had "concrete" plans to question to DC to protestation the counting of electoral votes, which could pb to violence.

        Other examples of accusation obtained by the GAO see the Architect of the Capitol's recognition of a Twitter station that indicated the far-right extremist radical the Proud Boys planned to disable occurrence extinguishing systems successful national buildings, including the Capitol.

        Several Proud Boys person been charged with conspiracy, including Proud Boys person Enrique Tarrio. One Proud Boys leader, Charles Donohoe, pleaded guilty successful April to conspiracy to obstruct an authoritative proceeding and assaulting an serviceman and could supply captious accusation to prosecutors astir what the apical members of the enactment had planned for the attack.

        The study noted the Senate sergeant-at-arms had received open-source information connected December 29, 2020, from a section spouse bureau that highlighted a societal media station encouraging Donald Trump supporters to march connected the Capitol and intimidate members of Congress connected January 6.

        The study notes the FBI reviewed societal media posts from November 3, 2020, done January 5, 2021, but officials told the GAO the reappraisal of these posts "did not uncover accusation specifically citing" the Capitol. However, the reappraisal did amusement determination was 1 station related to the imaginable for unit successful Washington connected January 6.

        More reports successful the works

        Federal officials from the FBI and DHS testified successful 2021 that the agencies had ne'er produced a ceremonial menace informing to beryllium shared among instrumentality enforcement partners for the associated league of Congress connected January 6 -- decisions that were highlighted successful a study past twelvemonth from 2 Senate committees astir the information failures.

        The GAO study points retired that respective agencies, including the FBI and DHS, produced much than 2 twelve smaller reports known arsenic "threat products" that focused connected planned events for January 6, erstwhile the counting of the electoral votes took place.

          One wide reported illustration is simply a January 5 FBI bulletin composed of earthy quality and informing of discussions astir a "war" connected the Capitol.

          Monday's study marked the 5th successful a bid from the GAO examining the Capitol attack. The adjacent study volition analyse however agencies utilized threat-related accusation to hole for the events of January 6.

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