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Fake Trump Supporters & Provocateurs at Jan. 6 Capitol Riot: Analyst

Posted by FactReal on March 1, 2021

This a great eyewitness account of the January 6th Capitol breach from a senior analyst for strategy at the Center for Security Policy with experience in political and psychological warfare, J. Michael Waller:

Via Center for Security Policy: ‘Covert Cadre: What I saw leading up to the US Capitol attack’
Reprinted by The Federalist: ‘I Saw Provocateurs At The Capitol Riot On Jan. 6’

SUMMARY

The deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol bore the markings of an organized operation planned well in advance of the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress.

A small number of cadre appeared to use the cover of a huge rally to stage its attack. Before it began, I saw from my vantage point on the West Front of the Capitol what appeared to be four separate cells or units:

1. Plainclothes militants. Militant, aggressive men in Donald Trump and MAGA gear at a front police line at the base of the temporary presidential inaugural platform;

2. Agents-provocateurs. Scattered groups of men exhorting the marchers to gather closely and tightly toward the center of the outside of the Capitol building and prevent them from leaving;

3. Fake Trump protesters. A few young men wearing Trump or MAGA hats backwards and who did not fit in with the rest of the crowd in terms of their actions and demeanor, whom I presumed to be Antifa or other leftist agitators; and

4. Disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. A column of organized, disciplined men, wearing similar but not identical camouflage uniforms and black gear, some with helmets and GoPro cameras or wearing subdued Punisher skull patches.

All of these cells or groups stood out from the very large crowd by their behavior and overall demeanor. However, they did not all appear at the same time. Not until the very end did it appear there was a prearranged plan to storm the Capitol building, and to manipulate the unsuspecting crowd as cover and as a follow-on force.

DETAILS

Fake Trump Protesters

A very few didn’t share the jovial, friendly, earnest demeanor of the great majority. Some obviously didn’t fit in.

Among them were younger twentysomethings wearing new Trump or MAGA hats, often with the visor in the back, showing no enthusiasm and either looking at the ground, glowering, or holding out their phones with outstretched arms to make videos of as many faces as possible in the crowd.

Some appeared awkward, the way someone’s body language inadvertently shows the world that he feel like he doesn’t fit in. A few seemed to be nursing a deep, churning rage.

They generally covered their faces with cloth masks, as opposed to the pro-Trump people, few of whom wore masks at all. They walked, often hands in pockets, in clusters of perhaps four to six with at least one of them frequently looking behind.

These outliers group looked like trouble. I presumed these fake Trump protesters were Antifa or something similar.

Uniformed, Disciplined Column of Attackers

A second outlier group also stood out. While many marchers wore military camouflage shirts, jackets, or pants of various patterns and states of wear and in all shapes and sizes, here and there one would see people of a different type: Wiry young men in good physical condition dressed neatly in what looked like newer camouflage uniforms with black gear, subdued patches including Punisher skulls, and helmets.

They showed tidiness and discipline. They strode instead of walked, moving at a more rapid pace than most of the people, sometimes breaking into a short jog, and generally keeping to the left side of Constitution Avenue in pairs of two or small groups of three. Unlike others in old military clothes who tended to be affable and talkative, these sullen men seemed not to speak to anyone at all. As we would see, they were the disciplined, uniformed column of attackers.

Uniformed, Disciplined Cadre Assembles for Attack

Then, from the north, a column of uniformed, agile younger men walked briskly, single-file, toward the inaugural stand. They came within two feet of me. Their camouflage uniforms were clean, neat, and with a pattern I couldn’t identify.

Some had helmets and GoPro cameras. Some uniforms bore subdued insignia, including the Punisher skull. These were the disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. I had seen them in groups of two or three among the marchers on Connecticut Avenue from the Ellipse.

Now there were a good three dozen of them, moving in a single, snakelike formation. They were organized. They were disciplined. They were prepared.

“We’re taking the Capitol!” the first or second announced.

Plainclothes
Plainclothes: Police Fire Tear Gas at Their Supporters not the plainclothes militants

Then something happened at the front of the crowd, as if a champagne cork popped to release pent-up human energy. It seemed like a scuffle…For a few seconds I saw what looked like police in a tussle with some of the marchers up front—what appeared to be an organized group in civilian clothes. This organized group are the cell I call the “plainclothes militants.” They fit right in with the MAGA people.

Suddenly energy surged from the front of the crowd as the anti-riot police, above on the inaugural platform, visibly tensed up. Some sighted their pepper ball weapons toward the densely packed people. One fired a teargas canister—not at the plainclothes militants at the front line, but into the crowd itself. Then another. Flash grenades went off in the middle of the crowd.

I had seen anti-riot police in action before. They moved with a decisive sense of purpose. Now, the Capitol Police crew seemed confused, as if without a leader or perhaps inadequate rules of engagement. These professionals seemed directionless

Provocateurs
Provocateurs to Turn Unsuspecting Marchers Into an Invading Mob:

…[T]he man kept yelling not to “retreat,” as if this were a military operation. In a powerful voice, he exhorted the crowd to remain on the plaza and not to disperse on the lawn or depart down the steps to the footpath…Then two other men.. bellowed variations of “Forward! Don’t you dare retreat!” Some made direct eye contact at people and pointed directly at them, as if trying to psyche them into submitting. […]

They appeared to be part of an organized cell of agents-provocateurs to corral people as an unwitting follow-on force behind the plainclothes militants tussling with police—but who, we would later learn, were actually breaking into the Capitol beneath the Great Rotunda to storm Congress. It was just before 3 o’clock.

These apparent agents-provocateurs placed hundreds of unsuspecting supporters of the president in physical danger. They attempted to block exits for people seeking to escape tear gas. They endangered vulnerable people, including children, the frail, and the elderly.

They funneled and pushed hundreds if not thousands of innocent people into a crush toward the Capitol. They did so with the goal of forcing those people into a confrontation with federal police defending Congress.

Few police. DC Treated the Event at the Lowest Threat Level.

For such a massive event, police presence was light. District of Columbia police and a small group of DC National Guard had a relaxed demeanor, keeping a professional distance from marchers and other pedestrians, as they usually do.

We walked about three blocks behind the front of the march to the Capitol, with perhaps two or three thousand people ahead of us. The DC Metropolitan police were their usual professionally detached selves, standing on curbs or at street crossings and exchanging an occasional greeting from marchers, but treating the event as routine and at the lowest threat level.

When we crossed First Street NW to enter the Capitol grounds where the Capitol Police had jurisdiction, I noticed no police at all. Several marchers expressed surprise.

Passing by a few days earlier, I had noticed that, with presidential inaugural platform construction underway, the Capitol’s West Front lawn had been blocked off with plastic. On this day, there was no barrier blocking the paved footpath with its high granite curbs on either side leading up the Senate side of the hill. The openness seemed like a courtesy gesture from Congress, which controls security.

The Crowd Energized and Festive, Not Angry or Incited

…[The] marchers had begun down Constitution Avenue from the Ellipse to Capitol Hill, mostly along Constitution Avenue…Although the march was in protest of fraud in the 2020 election and people were recounting the president’s energizing speech, the mood of the crowd was positive and festive. […]

Of the thousands of people I passed or who passed me along Constitution Avenue, some were indignant and contemptuous of Congress, but not one appeared angry or incited to riot. Many of the marchers were families with small children; many were elderly, overweight, or just plain tired or frail—traits not typically attributed to the riot-prone.

Diverse Cross-Section of America
A large group of African-American men sported shirts that said “Blacks for Trump.” Figuring that journalists would emphasize the solitary racist sign and Confederate flags, deliberately ignoring the rest, I took note of the fact that many demonstrators were black, Asian, and Latino, with a strong presence of Vietnamese- and Chinese-Americans.

Few Portable Toilets and Trash Bins

The DC government had placed only one portable toilet along the 16-block Constitution Avenue route, and five more near the intersection with Pennsylvania Avenue near the Canadian Embassy. The federal government opened the Ronald Reagan Building so people could use the bathrooms.

The city had provided few trash bins. (DC usually provides a large number of toilets and trash receptacles along march routes.) […]
Observations about the toilets and trash are noteworthy because, in my experience with and among large protest crowds in Washington, the large leftist crowds tend to be angry and leave trash in the streets and urine in the shrubs. None of that anger showed in the Jan. 6 crowd along Constitution Avenue.

Read the entire article: here.

RELATED:
Timeline: Trump did NOT Incite Violence Jan. 6 (Tweets, Videos)

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