Forensic research group confirms Capitol attack was not spontaneous

Forensic research group confirms Capitol attack was not spontaneous
Donald Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, Tyler Merble
According to a report published by the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was the "direct result of a months-long effort rooted in disinformation" that was "promoted by President Donald Trump."

The group has put together a comprehensive timeline that shows how the movement was "coordinated by some of his most fervent, conspiratorial supporters; and incorporating a wide range of supporting groups."

The research article, published at Just Security, uses material posted "in plain sight" on online platforms which were designed to convince people of falsehoods about the 2020 elections. The disinformation campaign centered around the "Stop the Steal" movement, which hosted a rally on Jan. 6 that preceded the violence at the Capitol.

"The Stop the Steal movement was far from monolithic, though, and included groups across a spectrum of radicalization: hyperpartisan pro-Trump activists and media outlets; the neo-fascist Proud Boys, a group with chapters committed to racism and the promotion of street violence; unlawful militias from around the country with a high degree of command and control, including the so-called Three Percenters movement; adherents to the collective delusion of QAnon; individuals identifying with the Boogaloo Bois, a loosely organized anti-government group that has called for a second civil war; and ideological fellow travelers of the far-right, who wanted to witness something they believed would be spectacular," the report states.

According to the report, the binding ingredients that brought these groups together was conspiracy theories about the 2020 election coupled with cult-like support for Trump.

Read the full report over at Just Security.

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