GAO – Capital Attack – Federal Agencies’ Use of Open Source Data and Related Threat Products Prior to January 6, 2021: “Several federal agencies used “open source” data—social media posts and other publicly available information—to obtain information about the potential for violence at the U.S. Capitol prior to January 6, 2021.Agencies developed reports for situational awareness based on open source data, which indicated that
- Groups may attack the Capitol or Congress
- Extremist groups may commit or incite violence
- Groups may be armed or
- Violence was possible between opposing groups
Federal agencies obtained and shared social media posts and other publicly available information—referred to in this report as “open source data”—on potential criminal activity prior to January 6, 2021. All 10 selected agencies— including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Intelligence and Analysis who have lead roles in countering domestic terrorism and violent extremism—were aware of open source data about planned events on January 6, and seven were aware of potential violence planned for that day. They obtained the data through manual web searches, sharing with each other, and social media platforms. For example, prior to January 6, the FBI reviewed information regarding an online threat that discussed calls for violence, including “Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood…Get violent…Go there ready for war.” In addition, in mid-December 2020, DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis received information regarding threats to Congress and elected officials and discussions of bringing guns into D.C. on January 6. Further, one agency received data from a social media platform on December 24, 2020, that included a user threatening to kill politicians and coordinate armed forces on January 6…”
Sorry, comments are closed for this post.