In the aftermath of the failed insurrection on Jan. 6, law enforcement claimed that the chaos came without warning, but reports suggest it was abundantly clear that many extremists weren't coy about their plans to occupy the Capitol. As NBC reports, a digital flyer that hoped to get the word out about "Operation Occupy the Capitol" circulated online prior to the event, with some far-right extremists proudly spreading the word on sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
"Everyone who was a law enforcement officer or a reporter knew exactly what these hate groups were planning," said Attorney General karl A. Racine on Friday, stating that there were "no surprises" that some had been planning for this to happen. "They were planning to descend on Washington, D.C., ground center was the Capitol, and they were planning to charge and, as Rudy Giuliani indicated, to do combat justice at the Capitol."
Of course, these plans didn't just circulate on mainstream sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. One such place where plans were discussed was message board 8kun, which has been linked to white supremacism, multiple mass shootings, and the spread of child pronography. The site is very popular among QAnon followers, who seemingly believe that Hillary Clinton is drinking the spinal fluid of children through silly straws. Users on the site had talked about a planned siege of the Capitol for weeks.
"You can go to Washington on Jan 6 and help storm the Capital," wrote one user on the site just one day before the attack took place. "As many Patriots as can be. We will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount." Many Trump supporters have already tried to shift the blame of the events on Antifa, despite video and photo evidence showing multiple prominent white supremacist and QAnon supporters at the scene, including neo-Nazi Anthime 'Baked Alaska' Gionet, and Jake 'QAnon Shaman' Angeli.
The Network Contagion Research Institute, which tracks disinformation as it spreads across the internet, made note of these threats before the rally took place. Insurrectionist hashtags began to trend upward in the lead-up to Jan. 6, both on widely accessible social media and fringe-right cesspits. Shortly after the chaos, Washington Police Chief Robert Contee suggested on Thursday there was "no intelligence that suggested there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol."
Despite many Republicans condemning the attack on democracy, some extremists have continued to suggest that an insurrection should take place. Former Virginia congressman Denver Riggleman has warned that some of Trump's most extreme supporters might engage in political violence ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. "I think we better be ready," he said, "We need a coordinated effort to detect groups planning now for Inauguration Day."
In response to the events of Jan. 6, the FBI has asked for any information that could assist in "identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, D.C." The FBI is accepting tips and media regarding those who engaged with and instigated said violence, and one notable MAGA cult shithead has since been arrested.