FBI Director Calls Capitol Riot ‘Domestic Terrorism’ – But Was It?

ANALYSIS – During a recent grilling by the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray called the January 6 riot in the U.S. Capitol “domestic terrorism.” And many would agree. But was it really? And if so, what does that mean?

And how does it apply to other forms of violent domestic disturbances directed at federal buildings and law enforcement – such as those by BLM, Antifa and other groups?

In his testimony Wray said in reference to the Capitol riot: “That attack, that siege, was criminal behavior. It is behavior that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism.” Few will argue with Wray’s assessment of it being criminal behavior, I called it that immediately after the riot. But was it “domestic terrorism”?

Significantly, in contrast to crimes of “international terrorism,” there is no federal criminal offense for “domestic terrorism.” Acts of so-called domestic terrorism are charged under other specific criminal laws, such as killing federal agents or other criminal offenses. So, in U.S. federal law, the crime of domestic terrorism simply does not exist.

However, while not a designated crime, “domestic terrorism” is defined under the 2001 USA Patriot Act for purposes of authorizing federal law enforcement investigations. There it is described as:

…activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state; (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

Under that definition – or even the more common dictionary definition of “terrorism” as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims” – the Capitol riot can certainly be called terrorism. This is something I noted in my analysis of earlier violent BLM/Antifa attacks against peaceful Trump supporters in Washington, DC.

I called those leftist attacks on civilians for political intimidation the textbook definition of “terrorism. And if applied equally, the term could definitely be used to describe the Capitol riot as well.

However, the problem is that it isn’t being applied equally. The term cannot be used selectively against one political group or ideology and not others, without appearing to be a biased witch hunt. And that is exactly what is occurring now.

The violent attacks by BLM and Antifa groups against peaceful Trump supporters in DC, or violent attacks targeting the White House, or federal officers and the federal courthouse in Portland, have not been labelled “domestic terrorism.” Neither have the violent leftist attacks against other federal buildings and monuments in numerous other cities nationwide.

And that is wrong, and needs to change.

Those months-long BLM/Antifa riots caused well over $2 billion in damages and injured over 2,000 police officers, some seriously. The Capitol riot, in contrast, injured about 140 officers, and caused relatively minor damage.

While one rioter was killed by Capitol Police, one Capitol Police officer died afterwards due to still unknown causes, and three protesters in the area died of pre-existing medical conditions, the mostly unarmed Capitol riot was not the “bloody insurrection” hyped by partisans and the media.

Bottom line is – until the term is applied evenly and impartially, perhaps the “domestic terrorism” label should not be used at all.

Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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peted
peted
4 months ago

Chris Wray is useless and must go!

james bolton
james bolton
4 months ago
Reply to  peted

As perfectly useless as globalists want or they wouldn’t have hired him .

noomi
noomi
4 months ago
Reply to  peted

He is in Biden’s hip-pocket. His inability to stop the Seattle and Portland takeover, and hiding behind the “state’s rights” laws shows that the Dems own him. Calling a twenty minute demonstration a terrorist act where one policeman died (and they will not release autopsy report) and three or four demonstrators died, is absurd-equally absurd is calling the summer demonstartion in Minnesota, a Peaceful protest while there is a fire raging in the bacjground.

Robert6391
Robert6391
4 months ago
Reply to  noomi

noomi
I know you do not listen to anything that does not agree with you. The State and Federal Law Enforcement agencies, have said over and over the BLM protests were actually hijacked by actual Trump supporters, like White Supremists, and Militia’s. who wanted a Civil Race War in this USA. Once again the Law Enforcement has said it was the outside groups that did the damage and set the fires not BLM, under the Trump administration everyone was to afraid to mess with any Trump supporters.
All this is readily available even on FOX NEWS.

John Reed
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert6391

You’re so full of crap! You need to stand up so you brain can get some oxygen. Trump supporters don’t run around in black mask and carry Molotov cocktails. If you’re not blind, you can see that those who were arrested in Portland, etc. weren’t Trump supporters. WAKE UP!

Trish
Trish
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert6391

That is so messed up, it made no sense.

Billy
Billy
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert6391

Robert please remove your head before you die.

Sandra Lee Smith
Sandra Lee Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert6391

Y’all have that EXACTLY BACKWARDS. Inevitably the violence happened when antifa &/or BLM showed up at Trump or other conservative rallies, not before, OR if right leaners DARED to schedule a counterprotest to 1 of y’all’, but the violence always starts from the LEFT leaners!

Trish
Trish
4 months ago
Reply to  noomi

That should have been called immediately for what it was. Riots are not covered by the 1st amendment, and are certainly called against the law by law abiding countries. Whoever was responsible for allowing it should be arrested and charged with encouraging it. The State should be held accountable.

The Observer
4 months ago
Reply to  Trish

Piglosi should be held accountable and culpable but she won’t be because she is a Dem and the media and deep state will cover for her as they are covering for Xicen.

Sandra Lee Smith
Sandra Lee Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  The Observer

Don’t forget Mad Max, Schifty & Schmuckie who are all complicit in inciting their base to violence.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  noomi

Why is the death of a federal police officer not investigated?

Sandra Lee Smith
Sandra Lee Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

If you’re referring to Sicknick, it was; no one killed him, he died of a cardiovascular event.

Roseann Car[emter
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Also the young Air Force vet. Unarmed, why was she murdered?

Craig Murphy
Craig Murphy
4 months ago

300 Spartans and a sea of selfie- absorbed gallivanters breached the Capitol. Pssst!

Bret
Bret
4 months ago
Reply to  Craig Murphy

Some hostile action in that whatever you want to call it, it definitely was no riot! The leader just asked Nancy when they would get their checks for showing up for the photo op! It was ANTIFA and BLM idiots!

marleen davis
marleen davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Bret

And all paid for by the evilest, vilest slime in the world—Soros! He owns all the dimms and thinks he is Hitler Reincarnate. I wish that Trump had had the time and inclination to find and remove this Nazi.

JDAVIS951
JDAVIS951
4 months ago

IT’s TIME TO DITCH THE WITCH, NANCY PELOSI!

WE THE PEOPLE (aka SILENT MAJORITY) have had countless opportunities to have stopped this nightmare, but we chose instead to give the DEMOCRATS what they expected of us, to REMAIN SILENT! Thus, making us equally complicit in the fraud perpetrated against United States Americans!

Isn’t it time you actually did something, took action?

I strongly urge everyone who reads this to PICK UP THE PHONE and call your REP in DC and DEMAND NANCY PELOSI BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE ABUSE OF POWER!

People should write these numbers down and use them frequently even if you don’t think your elected officials listen, they are required to note your comments for the permanent record in their caller database for anyone to see.

Members of the House
202-224-3841

TOLL FREE:
866-272-6622

One call per rep!

Keep in mind:  SILENCE = ACCEPTANCE

SteveO
SteveO
4 months ago
Reply to  JDAVIS951

Ahhhh, my rep is Nancy Pelosi

Neverbeenadem
Neverbeenadem
4 months ago
Reply to  SteveO

You actually sound offended. You can keep the old hag, it doesn’t belong in congress.

Don N
4 months ago
Reply to  Neverbeenadem

Wake up! Since Nancy is his rep,how would calling her to demand her own removal make sense?

Sandra Lee Smith
Sandra Lee Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Neverbeenadem

I think he doesn’t want her either…

Trish
Trish
4 months ago
Reply to  SteveO

I am sorry for you, but now maybe you can help do something about it.

Medd
4 months ago
Reply to  SteveO

Sorry about that.

Sandra Lee Smith
Sandra Lee Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  SteveO

My sincerest condolences!

marleen davis
marleen davis
4 months ago
Reply to  SteveO

You either must have real idiots in your district or a lot of homeless and illegals who were continually bought by the left.

gene smith
gene smith
4 months ago

Wray is a putz and is just looking for an out.
He knows good and well who was involved but has been hushed by?????

The Observer
4 months ago
Reply to  gene smith

He should NEVER have been placed in his position. He is a week-kneed leftie in sheep’s clothing. If he had any integrity, he wouldn’t have taken the position but he is just as greedy and power hungry and the rest of the Dems who have no moral fiber. How many of God’s commands has he violated?  

marleen davis
marleen davis
4 months ago
Reply to  gene smith

SOROS! The money man of the Democrap Party.

Bob L.
Bob L.
4 months ago

The radical leftists infiltrators were the only terrorists there. THEY should be the ones identified and prosecuted for their actions.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob L.

Absolutely right! The leftists had infiltrators from BLM and Antifa implanted among the Trump supporters. many of whom were sporting Trump gear to disguise themselves. It was already well known ahead of time that they were planning to do this and Pelosi nd her radical socialists knew this very well, as it was some of their supporting millionaires who financed it!!!

The Observer
4 months ago
Reply to  James

But nothing will be done to the REAL criminals, just the innocent.

Anti left
Anti left
4 months ago

The real domestic terrorist are the people in washington that are portraying everybody the disagree with as terrorist and not the people throughout the country that are burning, looting and sacking cities in the name of culture and racism when in reality they are just trying to take over this country through violent means.

Pawn
Pawn
4 months ago

No it wasn’t domestic terriorism you, can’t say what I what here so lets go with traitro. Ok If BLM and antifa was there doing things then you maybe correct but from what I saw it was very little vandalism, and much more was deserved. What happened to the FBI. Oh wait I forgot Hoover’s day and all the un-American things thy did then too, So I guess it is just business as always. Please can anyone tell me how the FBI got such a perceived good reputation when in fact they are, well, a bunch of jack booted thugs? This from an expo

Kurt Wullenweber
Kurt Wullenweber
4 months ago

Chis Wray is a prime example of one truth: since the departure of the Trump Administration, there is not a single honest person in DC. (District of Criminals)

Mandy Martin
Mandy Martin
4 months ago

The FBI is a crooked organization!

Neverbeenadem
Neverbeenadem
4 months ago
Reply to  Mandy Martin

They give the MOB (Mafia) a good name. Actually I TRUST the Mafia more than the fbi.

Krell51
Krell51
4 months ago

If the interview Lin Wood just posted is true, most of the FBI should be in chains!
it’s a long read but dear GOD if it’s only partly true this country is screwed!

Dan Stone
Dan Stone
4 months ago

This idiot will tell you what they want him to say. Didn’t this idiot even watch the actual videos of Antifa, names on their backs?

SteveO
SteveO
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Stone

Defund the FBI, I’m down for that!

james bolton
james bolton
4 months ago
Reply to  SteveO

The democrat criminal party family and friends and neighbors would have to collect welfare then .

marleen davis
marleen davis
4 months ago
Reply to  james bolton

Better to expunge these fools from the Country. They probably have gathered a lot of money with their greedy buddies, but still we would be better to rid our shores of all of them.

Nonips
Nonips
4 months ago

Heck NO the riots in Washington state and the other democratic run states are the terrorist blm antifa are terrorist

Lee Harant
Lee Harant
4 months ago

And what is antifa – community organizers
Youre an idiot

Lorraine E Blazich
4 months ago

The capitol invasion was planned by the demoncrats three weeks before it happened. The D.C. police escorted antifa and BLM into the front of the group of patriots and they are the people who forced their way into the capitol. It was all a big nancy pelosi SET UP so that her corporate media would report that the patriots are the people who invaded and that President Trump ordered them to do it. LIE! Pretty insidious maneuver by nancy but she knows lots of devious ways to cheat and commit fraud – just like her maneuver to steal the 2020 election with fraud by using mail in ballots.

Desert Fox
4 months ago

What other news sources it appears that the FBI was a part of this since they had warnings at least six weeks before and did nothing to stop it. If they dig deep enough, which thew won’t, they will find that it was planned And orchestrated by nutzy paloozi, chump scummer and the rest of the obstructionist party with the Obama militia (Antifa And BLM) to discredit the PRESIDENT TRUMP SUPPORTERS AND THE PEACEFUL PROTEST OF THE FRAUDULENT ELECTION. .

Domenic Battistella
Domenic Battistella
4 months ago

Is the FBI acting as an American institution or duplicating the KGB and acting as the political enforcement arm of our disappearing country. Could this be what the founding fathers foresaw when giving us the 2nd Amendment?

marleen davis
marleen davis
4 months ago

Does that mean that they are having secret new training and lessons in the 2 step from the KGB? I’m joking (hopefully) but I know these greedy stinkers are only out for power and money and the heck with the working people.

James
James
4 months ago

Director Wray is the domestic terrorist!

Hedda Louella
Hedda Louella
4 months ago

Political bias has replaced any semblance of equality.

marleen davis
marleen davis
4 months ago
Reply to  Hedda Louella

No, I would call it “Brainwashing of the naive folk and that along with Greed of the people in important political jobs.

OldSarge
OldSarge
4 months ago

What happened to peaceful protests?

Trish
Trish
4 months ago
Reply to  OldSarge

you’ll probably be arrested for that, it’s legal according to the Constitution. Welcome to the left utopia. Terrorist=good, law abiding citizens=bad.

DrJim1
DrJim1
4 months ago

The FBI is compromised and Wray is just another swamp creature traitor.

James Richards
James Richards
4 months ago

Christopher Wray is a Deep State Hack and a Lying Piece of Crap! Notice He is still in His Job after the Transition, and everyone else is being Canned! He was and is a Poison Pill and Scum like Him should be Removed from Government and the Country!

Clifford R. Baxter
Clifford R. Baxter
4 months ago

The only people responsible for Domestic Terrorism is the DNC leaders who pull all the strings ,Bidens, fauchi’s and the rest of the DNC Spycophants 😡

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

C.Wray must think were a bunch of downright idiots, to believe anything, that comes out of his lying pie hole. He wouldn’t know a domestic terrorist, if a FBI agent told him so. this guy is an embarrassment, just like comey,and mccabe, there all swamp rats from the same sinking ship.

james bolton
james bolton
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

globalist puppet wray knows that globalist puppet, libby snow flake sheep are a bunch of downright idiots and believe all their lies .

Elizabeth Estrada
4 months ago

LISTEN UP…The CAPITOL RIOTERS had NO GUNS. BLM and ANTIFA had GUNS and KNIVES. TRUMP SUPPORTERS got SHOT…STABBED and KILLED this Past Summer. BLM…ANTIFA and the CAPITOL Police Officer…have BLOOD on their HANDS. NOT SELF DEFENCE…MURDER. DEADLY FORCE was USED. Let the PUNISHMENT fit the CRIME. From SamuraiQueen. 😄😄😄

james bolton
james bolton
4 months ago

globalist puppet wray is as guilty as globalist puppet $oro$ for allowing globalist puppet $oro$ to hire libby snow flake sheep and transporting them to washington dc and dressing the libby snow flake sheep in MAGA hats and MAGA shirts and invading the capitol at the same time 1,000,000 peaceful Americans are enjoying the Trump speech a mile away from the capitol .

Scotty
Scotty
4 months ago

Breaking a window with a stick is hardly domestic terrorism.

American
American
4 months ago

I WOULD BET MONEY THAT PEEELOUSI HILLARY OBAMA OR FACEBIOK OR TWITTER OWNERS HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT !!! THEY ARE ALL CAPABLE OF DOING SOMETHING LIKE THAT BLM AND ANTIFA ARE CONNECTED TO THESE DAMOCRAPS. AND SO IS THE FRAUDULENT ELECTION. SO WE ARE STILL WITHOUT A PRESIDENT. AND THIS COMMUNIST DICTATOR HAS TO GO, THIS GUY IS A TOTAL NUT JOB . NO ONE DESERVES THIS KIND OF IDIOT KILLING JOBS IN OUR COUNTRY. SEND HIM AND HIS COHORTS NEED TO NE OUT IN PRISON the a stroke to the firing squad. We don’t need garbage like that on our country.

THOMAS
THOMAS
4 months ago

FUH-Q WRAY ! GO TO HELL !

Justme
Justme
4 months ago

It probably will be until they find out Pelosi was behind it !! Then it will all change

Marina
Marina
4 months ago

That “domestic terrorism” was a preventable because it came from gross negligence.
Who is going to sue Nancy Pelosi for gross negligence causing the wrongful dead of Ashli Babbit in the Capitol riot, she was unarmed, who gave those orders to the the Capitol police shot an unarmed person without first giving prior notice of that they will be shooting at them , violating the law.
No one is above the Law not even the POTUS, Nancy fired the experienced Capitol chief of police days before the riots and placed an inexperienced person to be in charge, refused the offer from the POTUS TRUMP to have 10,000 troops to stop riots in DC, there are multiple videos that show how the Capitol Police let the rioters in the Capitol and also guide them to the chambers then inside to ambush them and gun down an innocent person.
We The People want the Law to be upheld even to everyone, no one is above the LAW.
Now the say the Capitol police that shot Babbit is in hiding who is helping him to do so, and why they haven’t open an investigation!!!.

Nancy Stefanski
Nancy Stefanski
4 months ago

If the Capital protest was domestic terrorism, that makes the BLM and Antifa riots Armageddon and Judgement Day.

Just sayin’….

Roger Buggle
Roger Buggle
4 months ago

Christopher Wray is a government puppet! He like so many others get paid to stir the pot. Whose in the pot — You and I! We do our best to stay away from goons like antifa! Its as unfortunate as the Civil War that’s being perpetrated by The Grub in the Oval Office! This is what Socialism/Communism is all about! Stir the pot and blame it on Second Amendment sports & hunting. We need to stay positive in our thinking and help those who need to be in Congress and the Senate like a Jewish wedding where they do a dance and lift up the bride and groom in adoration! Whatever you do hold fast like a 150 mile an hour wind and never let them take away your defense, its your last ditch effort for survival!

Ruth Silver
Ruth Silver
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger Buggle

I don’t see the analogy of the Jewish Wedding,I am Jewish and Love President TRUMP
That really hurts
In fact it’s Anti- Semitic
Comparing a beautiful tradition of any bride and groom of any religion with Hate
Groups is unconscionable

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

Wray, Biden, Obama, Holder, Kerry, Clinton, Jarrett, Rice, Brennan, Soros and the entire DNC are guilty of treason!

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

Joe Biden was never going to run America, Kamala Harris sucked Willie Browns cock for a decade, to get to where she is! So a One World Government is soon!

Anne J Hosack
Anne J Hosack
4 months ago

Keep in mind that Biden got rid of all of Trumps appointees except Christopher Wray. Hmmm, I wonder why? He should have been gone a long time ago.

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

That’s because he was bought off by the Chicago hood rat anarchy!

Fritz Johnson
4 months ago

Listening too the Democrats in Congress you’d think it was more dangerous than the US Marines going ashore in Iwo Jima!

Bunny
Bunny
4 months ago

Biden fired almost every Trump leftover person in his new administration but he KEPT Chris Wray. What does that tell you.

Jim
Jim
4 months ago

Wray, Barr, Durham, Mueller et al…a long line of traitors, Deep State denizens, liars, untrustworthy deplorables exhale their poisonous statements and mislead those they are sworn to defend. These charlatans piss on the very graves of veterans and those law enforcement individuals who put their very lies on the line every day. Before you yell “domestic terrorism” Chris Wray show your transparency and ALL the hard evidence.

Robert Sohn
Robert Sohn
4 months ago

May the Lord Jesus Christ raise up an army of godly leaders to take on the challenge of leading our great nation of America. God’s ways are not our ways. Do not forget our great history –

In his Farewell Speech, September 19, 1796, Washington said:

The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of right and order which Heaven itself has ordained. … Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. …

…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.” (Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, B. F. Morris, pages 634,635; and America’s God and Country, edited by William Federer, page 661)

Richard Hennessy
Richard Hennessy
4 months ago

If the BLM riots have not been labeled “domestic terrorism”, neither was the riot at the Capitol, as abhorrent as it was.

ALSCV
ALSCV
4 months ago

Is Wray trying to keep his job? Does he not know the attack on the capitol building was planned in advance; the Trump supporters were peaceful. Almost all breaking in were BLM nd Antifa members. Some have been identified as being previously seen in other cities burning and looting. Wray should know better and I believe he does. Trump should have fired him before leaving office. Want to bet Biden keeps Wray around now?

Bret
Bret
4 months ago

It was performed by Domestic Terrorists ANTIFA and BLM Groups but it was not a terrorist activity it was planned ahead of time by the DemoRATS Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer

Jojodmonkey
Jojodmonkey
4 months ago

Wray is the leader of the corrupt satanic nazi democrats Waffen SS and yes their jackboot thugs I.e. antifa, BLM, black panthers, naacp, splc, DNC, etc… have been committing domestic terrorism for years and yes at the capitol too in December!

JanD
JanD
4 months ago

Christopher Wray must be related to Fay Wray because he’s a damn drama queen – and like all the ranking wankers is part of the interwoven corruption crew who know no loyalty except to keep from being outted. We’ve got their number. Game time’s OVER!!!

Micala
4 months ago

Domestic Terrorism? Then the FBI should also include all of Antifa and BLM’s demonstrations that turned Riots ALSO DOMESTIC TERRORISM because those rioters destroyed more small businesses, cop cars, etc and then they went on to another city to destroy that city. NOW THAT DEFINITELY IS DOMESTIC TERRORISM AND EVERY LAST ANTIFA AND BLM MEMBER NEEDS TO BE ARRESTED!

BUT WAIT FBI!! You need to check with the leader of the Cabal in D.C. — Pelosi — because you will be arresting her very own ATTACK DOGS and that will not please her one bit!! Good luck with that!

Robert Ewing
Robert Ewing
4 months ago

I’ll tell you who are the true Domestic Terrorists.
The CIA and FBI.

John
John
4 months ago

I find it rather odd that while Communist Party members can almost destroy a city and invade a gated community and be given a pass. However a peaceful bunch of non-commie’s
are treated as VIOLENT protesters by both their government and the Dem. Party owned media?? Is it now a requirement to be a member in good standing of the Peoples Democratic PARTY in order to have the Rights outlined in our Founding Documents

John J
4 months ago

What does he call Portland, and the enormous amount of riots throughout America?


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