(Ken Silva, Headline USA) FBI Director Chris Wray has frequently blamed the bureau’s intelligence failures ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill protests on the fact that his analysts had difficulty separating online bluster from actual threats of violence.
According to Wray, his analysts saw a tremendous amount of online chatter about violence ahead of Jan. 6, but he called such data “raw, unverified, uncorroborated information.”
However, the Government Accountability Office disclosed Tuesday that the FBI received information ahead of Jan. 6 from a confidential informant. And far from passively receiving this information, the FBI responded by generating an intelligence report based on what the informant said—raising yet more questions about why there was lax security on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.
The GAO’s disclosure came in a Feb. 28 audit examining U.S. federal agencies’ intelligence failures ahead of Jan. 6. The GAO released a similar audit last May, but that one focused on the “open-source” intelligence—a fancy way of saying information found on the internet, which Wray has criticized as difficult to parse.
The GAO audit contains few details about the contents of the newly disclosed FBI intelligence report. The GAO simply says on page 102 of its audit that the FBI’s report was generated by its New Orleans field office on Jan. 5, 2021, and that it was “related to January 6 events.”
The revelation that the FBI drafted a report forewarning Jan. 6 based on human intelligence follows an NBC News article last December, which quoted an unnamed FBI informant who said he made similar warnings.
The FBI confidential source told NBC News that they had “put together hundreds of pages of reports over the two weeks proceeding Jan. 6” for the bureau leading up to the attack.
“This didn’t go down the black hole of a web form or a tip line, this went to an agent directly,” the source reportedly said, adding that they were confident the information was passed onto FBI officials in D.C.
“To me, there’s no excuse to say, ‘We didn’t see this coming.’”
It’s not clear whether this informant’s warnings were responsible for the newly disclosed FBI intelligence report. The FBI has not commented on the matter.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.