While most Americans watched in horror as Donald Trump supporters attacked their own government on Jan. 6, Dr. Erroll Southers wasn’t surprised. He was only surprised at the extent of the violence.
Southers, a former police officer and FBI agent, is a professor of the Practice in National and Homeland Security at the University of Southern California. He said the Capitol attack was the next progression from the Unite the Right March in 2017, which ended with the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer, who was killed by a white nationalist. The Capitol attack included an assortment of white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and Christian nationalist groups.
According to Southers, there are several troubling aspects about the attack. Firstly, he said former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund didn’t tell the truth about not being warned about the attack. Southers said Capitol Police received an intelligence briefing two days before the attack that warned about 20,000 people would attend the march on the Capitol.
“They ignored their own intelligence,” he said.
A huge intelligence failure
Southers added that the Capitol Police should have received a briefing from the Department of Homeland Security’s Intelligence and Analysis Unit, but the Trump administration shut that unit down.
Southers said this type of intelligence failure is unacceptable.
Southers said right-wing extremists were ignored under the Trump administration. “That’s his base,” he said.
“They had information that Congress itself was the target,” said Southers. “They didn’t stop it from happening.”
Apart from failing to anticipate the attack, Capitol police were also poorly equipped to handle the assault. Some of the helmets officers used during…