FBI Washington Field Office received F from Bureau officials for fighting domestic terrorism

WASHINGTON – Two years ago FBI inspectors at the Bureau’s Washington field office evaluating the domestic terrorism program gave it a “failed grade,” meaning it was considered both ineffective and incompetent, with two former FBI officials familiar with the case at N.B.C. Tells the news.

The inspection – similar to an internal audit – found that there was a lack of mechanisms to collect, analyze, and share threat intelligence – the same factors that play a role in security failure that led to the US Capitol being overrun by domestic extremist Was. 6, former officials said.

“It was not being fully worked out, in short,” one of the former FBI officials, who was there at the time.

“They did not have (enough) intelligence analysts assigned to them, and those who were assigned in the past were not doing intellectual work,” the former official said. “They had some source or sense of danger in their area of ​​responsibility.”

The other former officer, who was directly involved, said the assessment also criticized the Washington Field Office’s procedures for sharing intelligence with other police agencies, including the Capitol Police. Capitol police said they had no intelligence from the FBI about potential threats prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in which a Trump supporter crowd overwhelmed agency officials and an officer died.

Washington, DC is considered the top domestic terrorist target in the country, and the FBI’s inspection division sent a team to the DC Field Office to evaluate how domestic terrorism programs work. FBI inspection reports are generally not made public.

The former former officer said inspectors checked the office’s files to determine the number and quality of human sources of office in domestic terrorism, and were writing intelligence papers, the former former official said.

Giving information on the case, a third former FBI official said, “He saw a great need for reform.” “They were uncomfortable for a city with an iconic target that did not have the best mechanisms to collect and counter threats. They found problems with interactions with other agencies, particularly the Capitol Police.”

The FBI’s Washington Field Office did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

Sources said the “failed grade” was not necessarily due to inefficiency or poor management – there was a large context. Former terrorism stated that domestic terrorism was ranked as a lower priority in the FBI than international terrorism, which meant that it did not always attract the most aggressive agents.

Another former FBI official said that a complicating factor was the large number of threats against the federal government’s targets in Washington, D.C., on social media and in other forms, and the difficulty of solving what is real is simply aspiration.

In a poster distributed by the FBI on January 13, 2021 in Washington DC, information was sought about a suspected pipe bomber.Eric Baradat / AFP – Getty Images

It is also unclear what improvements have been made after the inspection. But there has been a challenge before the Bureau of Investigation of Domestic Terrorism. A fourth source, a former FBI official who served in a senior role on domestic terrorism, told NBC News to experience ongoing frustration, as agents felt hindered by FBI lawyers who were concerned that an investigation or intelligence collection Was touted against protected free speech.

NBC News reported on Sunday that according to law enforcement sources gave information on the case, the FBI and NYPD shared some threat information with the Capitol Police in the days before the riot.

But NBC News also reported on Tuesday that the FBI has not released a comprehensive intelligence bulletin that its intelligence analysts have shared on social media about extremist postings threatening violence. This did not happen because some FBI officials were concerned that issuing such a bulletin would lead to First Amendment Protection for political speech – not everyone within the FBI agreed, sources said, who are familiar with the case.

The acting assistant chief of the Capitol Police told Congress on Tuesday that he did not know of any intelligence from the FBI before January 6.

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