The FBI issued a dire warning the day before the Capitol riots that violent extremists were planning an armed uprising, a plot the attackers described as “war” to coincide with Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, USA Today reports. FBI official Steven D’Antuono said the intelligence report, prepared by the bureau’s Norfolk, Va., office, included a “thread from a message board” that described an array of preparations for an assault, including a map of Capitol-area tunnels and staging areas in in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. D’Antuono said the information was shared within “40 minutes” with law enforcement partners, including the Joint Terrorism Task Forces that includes the U.S. Capitol Police, the law enforcement agency that led the failed response.
The contents of the warning included ominous language calling for attackers to “be ready to fight.” It said, “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in … Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.” D’Antuono said the warning was part of a cache of intelligence that the FBI shared with law enforcement partners in the run-up to the Jan. 6 riots. “We developed some intelligence that a number of individuals were planning to travel to the D.C. area with intentions to cause violence,” he said. Some of that intelligence prompted the pre-riot arrest of Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right group Proud Boys that supports President Donald Trump. “Other individuals were identified in other parts of the country and their travel subsequently disrupted,” D’Antuono said. The actual assault, which left splintered doors and shattered windows, proved eerily similar to the call to arms by Trump supporters, as outlined by the FBI Norfolk warning.