The NYPD sent the information to Washington under the assumption it would be folded into a formal intelligence bulletin by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The FBI’s version is known as a joint intelligence bulletin. The DHS produces a threat assessment. These reports are typically written as a matter of course ahead of high-profile events. Local law enforcement officials see them as actionable intelligence — an early warning system to help them prepare for incoming threats.
And yet, for last week’s deadly attack on the Capitol, an event the president himself had promised would be “wild,” no formal report was ever released.
A spokesperson from DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis confirmed to NPR that the agency didn’t produce any threat assessment about the possibility of violence on Jan. 6. The FBI confirmed it didn’t produce one either. Instead, DHS provided a report about the “heightened threat environment during the 2020-2021 election season, including the extent to which the political transition and political polarization are contributing to the mobilization of individuals to commit violence,” the DHS spokesperson said.