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Jan. 6 Intelligence Failure Timeline

See the intelligence items leading up to Jan. 6.

Major disasters have after action reports written about those events. For 9/11 the “Lack of Imagination” was called out. For Hurricane Katrina, it was a “Lack of Initiative.”

What will the Jan. 6 after action report (AAR) have as a subtitle? There are any number of options when looking back to the days preceding and the day of the event.

Perhaps it will be determined by the intelligence failures. See this list: January 6th Intelligence Failure Timeline.”

I like this quote from the article leading up to the list:

“Often the warnings before a disaster tend to be broad, general, and strategic in nature, such as the warnings before the 9/11 attacks that al Qaeda posed a threat to aviation (but which failed to point to the specific plot), or before the COVID-19 pandemic that the world was at risk from a global pandemic (without identifying the specific disease that would ultimately kill millions). Only rarely are the warnings before a catastrophe specific enough to provide what is known as ‘actionable intelligence.’ But this timeline shows that in the days and weeks prior to January 6, there was a considerable amount of actionable intelligence available.

“One lesson from this timeline may be that often the most perceptive analysts are not those closest to the situation. In the case of January 6, organizations and individuals who might be assumed to have the most at stake, such as the Capitol Police, often appeared to be less concerned with the possible threat than analysts in other parts of the country.”
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.