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US states face threat of violent insurrection: ex-homeland security chief

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Donald Trump's supporters clash with police and security forces outside the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The United States is consumed by the events surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, leaving it unprepared for the evolving threat of another potential insurrection at the state level, according to Donell Harvin, the former homeland security and intelligence chief for Washington, DC.

“I think the threat has evolved and changed,” Harvin told MSNBC on the anniversary of the assault on the Capitol building.

“There’s certainly a possibility, and this is my concern, that we’re so busy looking in the rearview mirror of what happened last year that we’re not looking at the threat that’s in front of us and we’re going to bump right into it,” he cautioned.

Harvin warned that “the blended and mixed ideologies” that brought about the Jan. 6 attack are still “just as effective and operationally sound,” adding that the threat is “now blended back into the states.”

In the weeks leading up to the Capitol insurrection, Harvin said, the federal security planning was so focused on the coming inauguration that intelligence about extremists planning to protest and disrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory was easily overlooked.

The error of judgment on the part of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security came despite the fact that a large number of people, including extremists with histories of violence, had vowed on social media to take up arms and storm the Capitol to stop the certification process.

Then-President Donald Trump had claimed for weeks that the election was marked by massive electoral fraud, urging his supporters to “fight like hell” to stop the election from being stolen.

Harvin said that security officials are making the same mistake again, but this time they are focused on determining what went wrong last year instead of preparing for the next insurrection, which he said will probably happen at the state level.

“And so, instead of waiting for the very last moment to affect an election, the analysis suggests that the battle’s going to be back at the states,” he said. “Consider the fact that if the federal government wasn’t prepared for what happened on Jan. 6, what are the state and local authorities going to be prepared for?”

Three retired US army generals have sounded the alarm about the deepening political divide in the United States, warning about the possibility of a civil war after the 2024 presidential elections.

Former Major Gen. Paul Eaton, former Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, and former Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson made the warnings in an op-ed in The Washington Post last month.

The generals said there was a potential for chaos in the US armed forces, citing the "disturbing number" of veterans and active-duty members of the military that participated in the Capitol attack.  More than 1 in 10 of individuals charged in connection with the riot had a service record.

 


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