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:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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
- 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.
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