U.S. Authorities Warn That the Capitol Breach Will Be a ‘Significant Driver of Violence.’ – The New York Times


Politics|Federal authorities warn that the Capitol breach will be a ‘significant driver of violence.’

Protesters converged on the National Mall outside the Washington Monument last week waiting for President Trump to speak.
Credit…Jason Andrew for The New York Times

The deadly breach at the Capitol last week will be a “significant driver of violence” for armed militia groups and racist extremists who are targeting the presidential inauguration next week, according to a joint intelligence bulletin issued by federal authorities.

The “boogaloo,” a movement that seeks to start a second civil war, and extremists aiming to trigger a race war “may exploit the aftermath of the Capitol breach by conducting attacks to destabilize and force a climactic conflict in the United States,” according to the bulletin issued by the National Counterterrorism Center and the Justice and Homeland Security Departments, which was disseminated widely to law enforcement agencies across the country.

The bulletin, obtained by The New York Times, is labeled “Domestic Violent Extremists Emboldened in Aftermath of Capitol Breach, Elevated Domestic Terrorism Threat of Violence Likely Amid Political Transitions and Beyond.” Antigovernment militias and racists extremists “very likely pose the greatest domestic terrorism threats in 2021,” the agencies said.

The federal officials wrote that extremist groups have viewed the breach of the Capitol as a success and have been galvanized by the death of Ashli Babbitt, a QAnon follower who was shot by the police as she tried to enter the heavily protected Speaker’s Lobby, just outside the House chamber. The extremists could perceive that death as “an act of martyrdom,” according to the bulletin.

The extremists’ “violent online rhetoric” toward the presidential inauguration has increased, according to the bulletin, with some calling for “justice” for Ms. Babbitt’s death.


Excerpt from an intelligence bulletin that warns that extremists groups targeting the presidential inauguration “may exploit the aftermath of the Capitol breach by conducting attacks to destabilize and force a climactic conflict in the United States.
Credit…Obtained by The New York Times

The Capitol breach, as well as conspiracy theories from QAnon, will likely inspire such extremists “to engage in more sporadic, lone-actor or small-cell violence against common” violent extremist “targets, including racial, ethnic, or religious minorities and institutions, law enforcement, and government officials and buildings,” according to the bulletin, dated January 13.

The federal officials also wrote that “the shared false narrative of a ‘stolen’ election,” the false claim perpetuated by President Trump, “may lead some individuals to adopt the belief that there is no political solution to address their grievances and violent action is necessary.”

The Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., and subsequent breach of the Capitol also offered an opportunity for militia members and extremists from different groups to meet, which could increase the extremists’ “willingness, capability, and motivation to attack and undermine a government they view as illegitimate.”

The Secret Service issued a separate bulletin to law enforcement officials, dated Jan. 11, warning of armed groups, specifically the boogaloo, appearing in Washington before and after the inauguration. That warning was reported earlier by the Daily Beast.


Credit…Obtained by The New York Times


Credit…Obtained by The New York Times

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