Tuesday, June 18, 2024

FBI Executed ‘Disruptions’ in MAGA Groups ahead of J6, New Records Show

'This didn’t go down the black hole of a web form or a tip line, this went to an agent directly...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The FBI released a new batch of heavily redacted Capitol Hill protest records on its website Friday, showing that the bureau executed “disruptions” inside MAGA groups ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, Stop the Steal rally.

In the context of FBI operations, the term “disruption” was made famous in the 1970s, when the FBI’s controversial Counterintelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, was revealed to the public. “Disruption operations” can include criminal arrests, but in the COINTELPRO era they referred to undercover FBI agents and informants infiltrating political groups to sow discord—employing tactics such as spreading rumors, sleeping with other members’ wives and attracting unwanted attention.

The FBI continues such tactics to this day, as has been documented in recent podcasts such as “Alphabet Boys.” Moreover, Newsweek has revealed that the bureau plans to disrupt MAGA groups ahead of the 2024 election—reporting last October that the FBI will resort to “infiltration of political circles and other controversial government activity. (emphasis added)”

When it comes to Jan. 6, the FBI’s disruptions are revealed in a Jan. 13, 2021, email. Senior FBI officials were apparently scrambling for information on what the FBI did before, during and after the Capitol Hill breach.

It’s not clear whether the FBI’s pre-Jan. 6 disruptions entailed actual arrests, or classic COINTELPRO-type tactics. That part of the email is redacted. The email also included post-Jan. 6 disruptions, listing the arrests and self-surrenders that occurred after the riots. That part of the email is redacted, too.

The latest batch of FBI records do include several reports that indicate what agents were investigating ahead of Jan. 6. One of the reports from Dec. 2020 indicates the FBI was looking at an Antifa member who might have planned to attend the Capitol Hill rally. That report is almost entirely redacted, but it does identify the case type as “anarchist extremist”—FBI parlance for Antifa.

Another report from the FBI’s latest J6 records shows the bureau opened an investigation before the 2020 election took place. The date of that FBI report is redacted, but it says the investigation was probing someone or some group that was “likely planning to conduct acts of violence related to the upcoming 2020 elections.”

Yet another report shows the FBI opened a “sensitive investigative matter,” which are investigations into the media, congressional offices, churches, legal defense teams and other “sensitive” institutions. The date of this report is redacted, but warned that the subject “is planning violent attacks to prevent president-elect Biden and vice president-elect Harris from taking office and to influence any potential decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Another report on the FBI’s sensitive investigation is dated Jan. 11, 2021—but the rest of that report is redacted.

Friday’s batch of FBI records marks the latest indication that the bureau had foreknowledge that Jan. 6 would result in violence.

In December 2022, an NBC News article 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.’”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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