An FBI intelligence analyst reportedly warned months before the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that efforts to overturn the election results could lead to violence.
Politico first reported the news on Tuesday, citing documents obtained by the watchdog group Property of the People through an open records request.
An analyst at the FBI’s school for bomb technicians reportedly sent an email with the subject line: “Far-Right Chatter re Election Results” on Nov. 9 that was circulated through the Bureau and to some of its state and local partners. The email was sent out just days after major networks declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
“As Joe Biden is declared the victor in the 2020 Presidential Campaign, chatter from the far-right indicates the belief the election was stolen from President Trump,” the FBI analyst wrote, before urging recipients to “keep your head on a swivel,” according to Politico.
The FBI analyst cited findings of SITE Intelligence Group, which describes itself as “the world’s leading non-governmental counterterrorism organization” in their email when warning that militia groups are pushing “increasingly violent rhetoric, expressing a new level of escalation by declaring, ‘The fight is now.’”
“On a popular militia forum, users called to execute Biden, Democrats, tech company employees, journalists, and other ‘rats’,” the FBI analyst wrote, according to Politico. “QAnon and Neo-Nazi groups are using the election results to issue additional calls for action aligned with their specific ideologies.”
The FBI analyst then issued a warning that specifically pointed to organized events being planned nationwide that promote the Big Lie of a “stolen” election and the likelihood of violence occurring.
“Nationwide rallies: Waves of ‘#StopTheSteal’ and similar hash-tag events are being organized across the country as various voter fraud theories gain momentum among Trump supporters,” the analyst wrote, according to Politico. “As these materialize, counter-protests and violence will likely ensue.”
Additionally, the analyst expressed concerns over the dissemination of conspiracy theories and misinformation about the election results within far-right online channels.
“Evidence of voter fraud — preliminary, unverified, or already proven false — is being widely disseminated within far-right channels, aggravating already heightened tensions across the country, with the directive to share aggressively with ‘family and friends,’” the analyst wrote, according to Politico.
The analyst reportedly concluded the email by stressing that the country “remains in flux and strongly divided” and therefore federal law enforcement must stay focused and safe.”
Politico noted that weeks after the analyst’s email was sent out, SITE published a report titled: “Far-Right Forum Urges Proud Boys to ‘Overpower and Rush’ Police During D.C. Protest” — the text of which is available online, but only to SITE subscribers.
The analyst who wrote the email worked at the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School in Huntsville, Alabama, which trains first responders and bomb technicians on how to respond to bomb threats. The email indicates that federal law enforcement took notice of potential violence emerging from right-wing efforts to challenge the election results.
Lingering questions remain on what led up to the deadly Capitol insurrection and the Capitol Police’s lack of preparation when Trump supporters breached the Capitol on the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Biden’s electoral victory. The attack, which endangered lawmakers’ lives, occurred hours after then-President Trump urged his supporters during a “Stop the Steal” rally to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results.
A redacted email obtained by government watchdog organization Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) last month showed that the Secret Service on January 5 warned the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) of a threat to commit violence at the upcoming Trump rally in D.C. the next day.
In March, FBI director Chris Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that domestic terrorism “has been metastasizing around the country for a long time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon,” while maintaining that agents rapidly shared information with other law enforcement agencies before Jan. 6. Wray, however, acknowledged that the events of Jan. 6 are not “an acceptable result” and that FBI officials would review internal practices.