The saga of the attack on the Capitol is far from finished—as is the long-present white supremacist beast that Trump let fully loose in this country.
According to a report from the Washington Post, dozens of the violent racist insurgents who broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6 were already known by the FBI because they were on the bureau’s terrorist watch list.
Officially called the Terrorist Screening Database, the tool is supposed to be used by government agents and police to identify people who could pose danger to the public, and it seems the FBI used it to actually warn some racist extremists ahead of the Capitol attack to not go to D.C., according to what sources told the Post. Must be nice! While some complied, dozens of other white terrorists went to the nation’s capital anyway to cause violence.
From the Washington Post:
The watch list is larger and separate from the “no-fly” list the government maintains to prevent terrorism suspects from boarding airplanes, and those listed are not automatically barred from any public or commercial spaces, current and former officials said.
The presence of so many watch-listed individuals in one place — without more robust security measures to protect the public — is another example of the intelligence failures preceding last week’s fatal assault that sent lawmakers running for their lives, some current and former law enforcement officials argued. The revelation follows a Washington Post report earlier this week detailing the FBI’s failure to act aggressively on an internal intelligence report of Internet discussions about plans to attack Congress, smash windows, break down doors and “get violent . . . go there ready for war.”
Given that the FBI had forewarning about the threat of these terrorists who made little effort to hide their plans, yet still sat back and let them wreak havoc on the nation in the first week of the new year (I’m still salty about that, 2020 was hard enough)—it’s no wonder that these people are getting ready to enact more violence across the country around Biden’s inauguration and beyond.
Federal authorities are now warning that far-right extremists may be planning to carry out further attacks, this time at state capitals across the country, and they could start as early as this weekend.
“Right now, we’re tracking calls for potential armed protests and activity leading up to the inauguration,” FBI director Christopher A. Wray said on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. He added that there is a lot of “concerning online chatter” about potential events in the coming week.
Though major platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have recently cracked down on white supremacists pushing violence on their sites (including Trump), many of them have migrated to other platforms where they are still discussing how to keep the country locked in a state of terror for the coming months and maybe years. And while Trump himself remains a motivating point for their violent goals, he has no actual ability to control the people he incited—especially since he won’t disavow the big lie that incited them in the first place.
After being impeached for a second time on Wednesday, the president issued a video on the White House Twitter account condemning the violence in the Capitol and any plans by his supporters to carry out further violence. In the video, Trump notably avoided speaking to what drove his mob of supporters to violently disrupt Congress’ certification of Biden’s electoral win.
At the root of these extremists’ continued fervor is a key observation: Trump still has not acknowledged that the election was legitimate and admitted his defeat to Biden. In his video on Wednesday, the president did not acknowledge he had lost the November election. And by not doing so, the outgoing president is seen as giving tacit approval to his followers’ plans to wage war against the political establishment.
In the hours after Trump’s video was released on Wednesday, Telegram channels with thousands of subscribers started to post memes claiming the president’s words were an effort to hoodwink the media and Democrats, while urging his followers to keep preparing for potential violent clashes.
Telegram is a messaging encrypting app that many right-wingers have migrated to since Parler lost its Amazon hosting services. “We won’t sit on our hands for the next four years but we can pick and choose our battles moving forward,” the Washington Post reports Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio wrote on the app recently.
The beast has been unleashed, and there’s no telling how much more carnage it will go on to wreak. Thanks, Trump.