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WaPo: FBI had received reports of violence, 'war' on Capitol days before riot

WaPo: FBI had received reports of violence, 'war' on Capitol days before riot
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The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that the FBI circulated an internal report warning of violence and “war” a day before a deadly riot broke out at the Capitol.

According to the Post, the FBI report depicted a potentially dangerous situation, citing online posts and comments that specifically called for violence.

The report quoted online threads in which individuals said: "Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.'"

Despite this warning, the unnamed author of the report also apparently expressed concerns of the FBI violating free speech rights, the Post notes.

This report contradicts statements made after the Capitol breach by FBI officials who said there was no indication the event would be violent, the Post reports.

FBI officials, speaking to the Post on the condition of anonymity, said the report was shared with the bureau’s Washington field office the day before the protest was set to occur.

One of the officials stated that the report was mostly composed of “raw data” and the FBI was not aware of the identities of those who made the online statements. According to the Post, the report states the data was not "finally evaluated intelligence,” and was not meant to be shared outside of law enforcement.

“Individuals/Organizations named in this [situational information report] have been identified as participating in activities that are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” said the report. “Their inclusion here is not intended to associate the protected activity with criminality or a threat to national security, or to infer that such protected activity itself violates federal law.

"However, based on known intelligence and/or specific historical observations, it is possible the protected activity could invite a violent reaction towards the subject individual or others in retaliation or with the goal of stopping the protected activity from occurring in the first instance," the report added. "In the event no violent reaction occurs, FBI policy and federal law dictates that no further record to be made of the protected activity."

The Hill has reached out to the FBI for comment.

This news comes after The Associated Press reported that Capitol Police declined offered support from both the FBI and the National Guard days before the Capitol was breached. Many have questioned why it took several hours for support to arrive to the Capitol after rioters had smashed windows and broke through doors.

The FBI has reportedly warned that armed protests are being planned in all 50 states and at the U.S. Capitol as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill Rural Americans are the future of the clean energy economy — policymakers must to catch up WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year MORE's inauguration draws nearer. The FBI has received information of a group calling for the “storming” of local, state and federal government buildings if President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend MORE is removed from office.

“Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity," said the bureau in a statement, while not confirming the report. "As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats."

Lawmakers have expressed outrage and confusion over how the riot was able to happen so easily at the center of the nation’s government. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund tendered his resignation last week. House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving resigned last week while Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger was forced out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellJudiciary Committee greenlights Garland's AG nomination This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP MORE (R-Ky.) 

Since the riot, more than 100 people have been arrested, with the FBI seeking tips and information to help identify those involved in the Capitol breach.