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Fight #Trump Like He’s a #Terrorist Leader, National Security Experts Say

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Fears emerge about law enforcement complicity and securing Joe Biden’s inauguration. In the aftermath of the violent insurrection against Congress on Jan. 6, many national security experts were stunned by what looked like a catastrophic failure to prepare by law enforcement agencies, foremost the Capitol Police. But the idea that the broad assault came as a surprise defied credulity, and concerns quickly focused on whether the attacks by enraged mobs of pro-Trump rioters were more orchestrated than was generally understood. For several weeks before the siege, the national security community was “swimming in threat intel” about far-right Trump partisans with potentially dangerous plans, a senior US law enforcement official told me. Some of the threats metastasized online. According to a social media analysis cited in the New York Times, the phrase “Storm the Capitol” was mentioned 100,000 times across various platforms in the 30 days preceding the attack. Violent far-right extremist groups exchanged ideas about concealing weapons and using guerilla tactics to target political enemies. On Twitter, President Trump himself spent weeks inciting violence focused specifically on Jan. 6, the day Congress would certify Joe Biden’s election victory. The day prior to the attack, a FBI field office in Virginia issued a stark internal warning about extremist talk of going to “war” in Washington, including individuals sharing a map of the Capitol complex. Further reporting since the insurrection has heightened concerns about the failure of law enforcement leadership, according to interviews with current and former national security officials. Among the mob and those who invaded the Capitol there was widespread use of two-way radio communications, tactical gear, chemical munitions, and what law enforcement officials believe may have been a diversionary planting of pipe bombs. Particularly grim was the participation by some police officers and ex-military personnel in the siege. Did agency leaders installed by Trump or who were sympathetic to his lies about the 2020 election look the other way from looming danger on their radar? (…) But what about sympathies for Trumpism among those with security responsibilities? Last August, former FBI special agent Michael German authored a report for the Brennan Center for Justice focused on the unknown extent but clear existence of extremist views among American law enforcement. “The continued presence of even a small number of far-right militants, white supremacists, and other overt racists in law enforcement has an outsized impact on public safety and on public trust in the criminal justice system and cannot be ignored,” German wrote. There has also been mounting evidence that police officers around the country have been caught up in apocalyptic pro-Trump conspiracy theories stemming from the dangerous QAnon movement, which Trump last fall refused to disavow even after it had been designated by the FBI as a domestic terrorism threat.

via mother jones: Fight Trump Like He’s a Terrorist Leader, National Security Experts Say