A Center for Security Policy analyst was the first known eyewitness to recognize the January 6 raid on the US Capitol as an organized, pre-planned operation.
J. Michael Waller, the Center’s Senior Analyst for Strategy, wrote about his observations later that day in an article subsequently published by The Federalist, then spoke about them with Jack Posobiec on One America News.
At least four different cells detected at the time
“I was expecting an Antifa disruption,” Waller said, but over the next four hours, “I noticed four different groups of cells or different cadre in there.”
“The first group was the rowdy guys in the MAGA gear. The second group was the plainclothes people who were trying to funnel people into that narrow area” at the base of the inaugural platform, “and it turns out that that’s the area where they broke into the crypt level of the Capitol on the western side to break in right under the rotunda,” Waller said in the January 15 interview.
“And then the third group were people we saw during the march, and they looked like the Antifa-type lefites. They didn’t fit in. They were wearing, indeed, MAGA hats and Trump hats backwards, but they weren’t making eye contact. They didn’t fit in. They weren’t making conversation with people. And so I was watching them because I thought they’d be trouble. Turns out I didn’t see them, at least from where I was, involved in any trouble,” Waller said.
This last point is important because it refutes false stories that Waller accused Antifa of causing the violence that day.
“The fourth group was very different from all of them,” Waller said. “These were uniformed, younger athletic men in camouflage, many of them wearing helmets with GoPro cameras and punisher skull patches. I had seen them in groups of two or three in the march from the Ellipse to the Capital but didn’t pay much attention to them. But by this time they came down [the Senate side of the Capitol] in a column, about 30 or 40 of them, and they went within two feet of me, and one of the lead ones announced, we’re going to take the Capitol.”
“I thought, ‘yeah, right, there’s too much security for that, even if we don’t see it there’s no way you’re getting in,'” Waller said. “They had a military style of discipline, it looked like some of them had the demeanor of some guys who’d served in combat or at least had really good military training, and they were neat, they were tidy, they were orderly, but they were guys on a mission.”
Operation showed the signs of careful pre-planning
Posobiec asked if the violence was a spontaneous outburst of anger and rage, or was something pre-planned.
Waller said that the operation showed careful pre-planning.
“To get into the Capitol, I’ve been in and out of it for years since I was a staffer in the House and Senate, into those levels of the Capitol,” Waller said, one must navigate “huge limestone columns and blocks that are holding up that whole complex, and there are small passageways throughout there.
“You really have to know your way around to navigate those passageways to get to the Speaker’s office or to get up to the entry to the House chamber and to these other places.
“You just can’t wander in as part of an angry group. Somebody had mapped this out in advance. It was all organized. You just don’t buy uniforms and helmets to go into a place just because the president riled you up forty minutes earlier.
“This was all pre-planned well before January 6.”