Dozens on FBI's terrorist watchlist were in DC day of Capitol riot

Source: The Hill | January 14, 2021 | Joseph Choi

Dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington, D.C., the day a mob attacked the Capitol, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The people were on the Terrorist Screening Database, a massive list kept by the government of people who have been flagged as potential security threats. The Post reported that a majority of those in D.C. are suspected white supremacists. 

The Post cited individuals familiar with the FBI’s investigation.

Most of the people flagged were in Washington, D.C., for pro-Trump events that had been scheduled. 


The fact that dozens of people on a terrorist list were in D.C. that day but that there was not more security around the Capitol adds to the failure of intelligence and police to adequately secure the complex. Lawmakers at the time were certifying the Electoral College votes.


The Post notes that hundreds of thousands of people have been added to the database since its inception, and a person’s presence on that list does not necessarily mean they will receive a heightened level of scrutiny. Instead, their presence on the list will alert government officials to look more closely at an individual if they are encountered.


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