WASHINGTON – The planning for Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol happened largely in plain view, with chatters in far-right forums explicitly discussing how to storm the building, handcuff lawmakers with zip ties and disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election – in what they portrayed as responding to orders from President Donald Trump.
This went far beyond the widely reported, angry talk about thronging Washington that day. Trump supporters exchanged detailed tactical advice about what to bring and what to do once they assembled at the Capitol to conduct “citizens arrests” of members of Congress. One poster said, “[expletive] zip ties. I’m bringing rope!”
Such comments were not confined to dark corners of the Web. They were scooped up and catalogued by researchers who made their findings public weeks before a seemingly unprepared Capitol Police force was overrun by thousands of rioters, in an incident that left one officer, one protester and three other people dead.
The question left unanswered is why didn’t authorities prepare more effectively for a storm that many outsiders saw looming on the horizon – especially when those planning the assault were so open about their intentions?
“Given the very clear and explicit warning signs – with Trump supporters expressing prior intent to “storm and occupy Congress” and use “handcuffs and zip ties,” clear plans being laid out on public forums, and the recent precedent of the plot to storm the Michigan Capitol building while Congress was in session – it is truly mind-boggling that the police were not better-prepared,” said Rita Katz, executive director of SITE Intelligence Group, which was among the research groups that detailed what was coming in the weeks before the Capitol was attacked. It recapped much of this evidence in a report published Saturday.
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Source: Seattle Times