Secret Service warned Capitol Police of neo-Nazi threats a week prior to insurrection

After relaying to the Capitol that far-right extremists were organizing, Secret Service was told “Thanks bro!”

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published September 22, 2022 8:54PM (EDT)

Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)
Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

A new investigation has revealed that Secret Service was monitoring threats against the U.S. Capitol made by at least one neo-Nazi group prior to Jan. 6.

According to Crew, the threats in question were made by a member of Vorherrschaft Division on a far-right extremist messaging site called Telegram. Initially spotted by SITE Intelligence Group, the statements made in an apparent attempt to organize violent maneuvers against the Capitol were then relayed to Capitol Police by Secret Service, at which point they were told "Thanks bro!"

"We need boots on the ground and voices loud enough to be heard for miles. That's the only way things are going to change…," read one of the messages warned about. In yet another, like-minded organizers were urged to "push for more nationalist policies and attitudes."

After spotting these communications, SITE Intelligence Group, "a non-governmental organization tracking online activity of white nationalists and extremist groups" recognized them to be an imminent threat as they're trained to spot and inform relevant officials of these very things. But once the intel was passed on the Secret Service, and then Capitol Police, there seems to have been a lapse in a general sense of preventative urgency.

Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.

In Crew's reporting they highlight that "Vorherrschaft Division is a neo-Nazi group and one of several white nationalist groups organizing on Telegram. The group was never one to take lightly, but the Secret Service appears to have paid it only passing attention."

In addition to the threats made by neo-Nazis, Secret Service received several tips from a "concerned citizen" that "two people, including a subject who previously made threats against Joe Biden, were flying to DC to attend Trump's rally and 'incite violence,' according to Crew, "and that another individual would be driving to DC with ballistic helmets, armored gloves and vests, rifles and suppressors."

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

MORE FROM Kelly McClure

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate Capitol Police Insurrection Jan. 6 Neo-nazi Secret Service U.s. Capitol