Capitol Police were given intelligence from both the FBI and the New York Police Department on potential threats before the storming of the Capitol Building last week.
More than a dozen extremists were paid a visit by the FBI before the rally and were urged to not travel to Washington, D.C., senior law enforcement officials told NBC News.
“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,” a senior FBI official told NBC News.
Capitol Police were left unprepared and were overwhelmed by protesters breaching the Capitol.
The news comes as an FBI official claimed there was no indication the protest would utlimately wind up in the storming of the Capitol, which led to a demonstrator being shot by Capitol Police and an officer being killed.
“There was no indication that there was anything other than First Amendment-protected activity,” the FBI’s Steven D’Antuono, head of the Washington field office, said Friday.
D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee added, “There was no intelligence that suggested there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol.”
But “Operation Occupy the Capitol” flyers were public on Instagram and Facebook last month, according to the report.
Also, the 8kun message board popular with QAnon followers talked about the plan.
“You can go to Washington on Jan 6 and help storm the Capitol,” an 8kun user wrote Tuesday, NBC News reported. “As many Patriots as can be. We will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount.”
The senior official noted some protesters heeded the warning to not attend the Wednesday rally.
“Prior to this event, the FBI obtained credible and actionable information about individuals who were planning on traveling to the protests who expressed a desire to engage in violence,” the senior FBI official told NBC News. “The FBI was able to discourage those individuals from traveling to D.C.
“The FBI and our federal, state and local partners collected and shared available intelligence in preparation for the various planned events.
“The FBI was prepared to adapt as needed to fluid events on the ground, including having rapid response teams in reserve. Throughout most of the day the crowd was peaceful and nonconfrontational.
“However, when it became clear that some individuals were surging onto the Capitol grounds and entering the buildings, the U.S. Capitol Police requested assistance. Within 50 minutes of that request, three FBI tactical teams were on scene to gain control of the area and offer protection to congressional members and staff. Over the course of the evening, the FBI presence ultimately grew to over 150 agents and other personnel.”
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