The U.S. Capitol Police has revealed that it sent an internal intelligence report three days before the Capitol Hill riots warning of violent threats, according to a report.
"Due to the tense political environment following the 2020 election, the threat of disruptive actions or violence cannot be ruled out," the 12-page report reads as quoted by the Washington Post on Friday.
Instead of counter-protesters being the target of the rioters like in past presidential election protests that occurred in DC, this time the Capitol would likely be the target, the report warned. "Supporters of the current president see January 6, 2021, as the last opportunity to overturn the results of the presidential election," it said, adding: "This sense of desperation and disappointment may lead to more of an incentive to become violent."
The intelligence report noted that right-wing leaders would be speaking at the "Stop the Steal" rally, forming one of bigger events of that day, according to the Post. "This combined with Stop the Steal's propensity to attract white supremacists, militia members, and others who actively promote violence, may lead to significantly dangerous situations for law enforcement and the general public alike," the report warned.
Former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the violent riot, expressed concern over insufficient security prior to January 6th. "We looked at the intelligence," he reportedly told the Post. "We knew we would have large crowds, the potential for some violent altercations. I had nothing indicating we would have a large mob seize the Capitol."
The Capitol Police also reportedly were warned of the potential for targeted violence at the Capitol by various lawmakers, including Reps. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). The insurrection resulted in the deaths of five people, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.
As threats of violence continue as the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden nears, Capitol Police have joined other agencies, including Secret Service and US Park Police, in requesting an increase in the National Guard's presence in Washington, DC to ward off another riot by loyalists to outgoing US President Donald Trump.