ICYMI: Peters Report Finds Significant Intelligence Failures by FBI and DHS in Lead-Up to January 6th Capitol Attack

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a new report detailing the results of his investigation examining intelligence failures by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) in the lead-up to the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The report found that FBI and I&A received numerous tips and were aware of significant online posts threatening violence at the Capitol, yet they failed to accurately assess this intelligence and share the information with law enforcement partners. Peters’ investigation found that these missteps contributed to the security planning failures that left frontline officers unprepared for the violent mob that breached the Capitol and disrupted the peaceful transfer of power. The findings build on a bipartisan investigation and report Peters led in 2021 detailing security, planning and response failures related to the attack. 

Associated Press: FBI and Homeland Security ignored ‘massive amount’ of intelligence before Jan. 6, Senate report says

“The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security downplayed or ignored ‘a massive amount of intelligence information’ ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the chairman of a Senate panel that on Tuesday released a new report on the intelligence failures ahead of the insurrection.”


“Michigan Sen. Gary Peters, the Democratic chairman of the Homeland panel, said the breakdown was ‘largely a failure of imagination to see threats that the Capitol could be breached as credible,’ echoing the findings of the Sept. 11 commission about intelligence failures ahead of the 2001 terrorist attacks.”


“Even as the attack was happening, the new report found, the FBI and Homeland Security downplayed the threat. As the Capitol Police struggled to clear the building, Homeland Security ‘was still struggling to assess the credibility of threats against the Capitol and to report out its intelligence.” And at a 10 a.m. briefing as protesters gathered at Trump’s speech and near the Capitol were ‘wearing ballistic helmets, body armor, carrying radio equipment and military grade backpacks,’ the FBI briefed that there were ‘no credible threats at this time.’”

NBC: ‘Planned in plain sight’: Senate report finds intel agencies failed in the lead-up to Jan. 6

“The report, written by the committee’s chair, Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and staff, provides specific examples of threats of violence and plans for an attack on the Capitol that were collected by agencies in the lead-up to Jan. 6, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A). The report concludes that the agencies consistently downplayed the potential for violence and, as a result, the government did not prepare the proper security apparatus for Washington that day.”


“‘What was shocking is that this attack was essentially planned in plain sight in social media,’ Peters said in an interview, ‘And yet it seemed as if our intelligence agencies completely dropped the ball.’”


“The report also outlines a long list of recommendations to prevent similar failures in the future. The committee calls for DHS and the FBI to complete full after-action reviews of their failures in the lead-up to Jan. 6 and to improve the process for analyzing and disseminating intelligence. The report also calls for Congress’ certification of future presidential elections to be declared National Security Special Events, which would mobilize law enforcement and provide special security enhancements.”

ABC: FBI and DHS ‘failed’ at ‘fundamental level’ in warning of Jan. 6: Senate report

“According to the report, which uses information from the House’s past Jan. 6 committee, the FBI and DHS office received early tips and warnings as well as other intelligence about the chaos that would eventually unfold over Jan. 6. One tip in December 2020, about the risk posed by the far-right Proud Boys group, urged authorities to ‘please please take this tip seriously and investigate further.’ Instead, however, the new Senate report faults the agencies for downplaying the known dangers, hesitating in their techniques based on past problems and being averse to more widely sharing what was known.”

“Peters said the ‘constant finger-pointing’ by those in both the FBI and DHS made it difficult to tell who was responsible for establishing which agency was the lead for coordinating the response to the insurrection.”

Detroit Free Press: Peters’ committee details intelligence failures before Jan. 6 attack on Capitol

“A staff report ordered by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., into intelligence failures leading up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, found that federal agencies had ‘multiple tips from numerous sources’ that violence was possible but didn’t take them seriously enough to prepare for the threat.”


“In June 2021, after a series of hearings, Peters’ committee and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee issued a joint report saying agencies ‘responsible for securing and protecting the Capitol complex and everyone on-site that day were not prepared for a large-scale attack, despite being aware of the potential for violence.’ Tuesday’s report was a follow-up to that earlier report.”

Washington Post: Senate panel finds more pre-Jan. 6 intelligence failures by FBI, DHS

“The document sheds new light on the many different types of warnings the FBI received — from nongovernmental organizations tracking extremism online, from the public, and from its own field offices. Days after the riot, The Post revealed the existence of a Jan. 5 report from the FBI’s Norfolk office warning of online discussion of attacking Congress. But the Senate report includes a similar, previously unknown written warning issued that same evening by the New Orleans FBI office.”


“‘The failure was largely a failure of imagination, to see threats that the Capitol could be breached as credible, despite the fact that the threats were shared publicly and in such high volume and in a variety of ways,’ said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the chairman of the committee. ‘These agencies repeatedly downplayed the threat and failed to sound the alarm.’”

MSNBC: Velshi: Senate Report: Intel Agencies “Failed to Fulfill Their Mission” Ahead of January 6th Riot

Michael Steele: “The new report, titled ‘Planned in Plain Sight’, details how the FBI, Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies ignored, downplayed and failed to communicate crucial threats of violence in the run up to the riot.”

Sen. Peters: “It was really a failure of imagination to realize this could really be an attack. And so they basically completely misjudged this threat, and never put out any kind of formal intelligence reports. In fact, there were only two informal reports that were put out by the FBI, and they did that the night before on January 5th. But, they also had a disclaimer saying this is raw intelligence, don’t alter your plans in any way, but this this could go badly. But it was not a formal report. The Homeland Security Department put out no formal reports whatsoever, despite getting this information.”

Sen. Peters: “When you have all of this information coming in from open sources, you have tipsters reaching out to the FBI and others with some very concerning information about what is happening. And then not to put out any kind of report to law enforcement prior to that. It defies explanation in my mind. Clearly, it was a big failure.”