The inspired terrorists who invaded the Capitol were your neighbors!

Nick Licata
9 min readMar 7, 2021
Photo credit: Sebastian Portillo/

The major networks and cable news channels largely ignored research findings showing who the people that were “incited” to invade the Capitol. Instead, they focused on those who had “planned” the violent break-in. While the FBI considers both groups to be domestic terrorists, research shows the “incited” people may be your neighbors.

Instead of describing the makeup of the rioters who broke into the Capitol, both the liberal and conservative TV media covered the event by asking who was responsible for organizing the attack and for not properly preparing for it.

The liberal stations tended to focus on the more clearly identified militant terrorist groups, like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers as the on-site leaders. After vehemently criticizing the siege of the Capitol, the conservative commentators managed to accuse the Democrats, particularly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for failing to protect the Capitol from the Trump rioters. They made little mention of the various right-wing militant groups that were in front of the mob.

Before reviewing several studies that identify who the insurrectionists were, it’s essential to realize the level of danger to our democracy that January 6 presents in the long term. FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 2, provides a needed perspective on that danger. Wray was appointed by President Trump and is a registered Republican. He is no liberal.

He said that the FBI considered the behavior of those who illegally entered the Capitol to disrupt Congress as criminal activity and viewed their actions as “domestic terrorism.” He told the Senate committee that their actions were “on the same level with ISIS and homegrown violent extremists.”

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas asked Wray: How about the dangers also from foreign-influenced terrorists? Wray explained the two groups “have a lot in common with each other.” He labeled those that are not foreign jihadist-inspired are domestic violent extremists who are inspired by domestic sources.

Wray did refute Trump and some Republican senators’ notion that the rioters were leftist-terrorists or were disguised as Trump supporters. The FBI had…

Nick Licata

Author of Becoming a Citizen Activist, 18 year Seattle Councilmember, named progressive municipal official of the year by The Nation.