Law enforcement officials say they had no indication Wednesday's protests at the Capitol were going to turn into violent riots. But journalists and researchers were warning of a planned siege weeks ago, largely based on public posts police could've checked out for themselves, NBC News reports.
Thousands of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol building Wednesday, resulting in the death of at least five people, including one Capitol Police officer. Videos and firsthand accounts show law enforcement agencies were vastly underprepared for the siege; Washington, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said Thursday he had "no intelligence that suggested there would be a breach of the U.S. Capitol."
Yet as Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny report for NBC News, the Trump backers used the message board site 8kun — a favorite of extremists and QAnon followers — to orchestrate their attack. On Tuesday, some went so far as to debate whether they'd "kill cops," security guards, and federal employees once they got inside.
And Trump backers weren't just making their plans on fringe websites. A digital flyer advertising "Operation Occupy the Capitol" on Jan. 6 publicly made its way around Facebook and Instagram as the use of extremist hashtags surged. Read more at NBC News.