Steve Inskeep, Rachel Martin, Julia Kayyem discussed on Morning Edition
I'm Steve Inskeep, and I'm Rachel Martin. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis is a little known agency within the Department of Homeland Security and what that agency did or didn't do in the lead up to the January 6th attack on the U. S Capitol could have big consequences. Today. A Senate panel will examine that very question, and NPR has obtained a report by a former New York Police Department intelligence chief about why DHS did not anticipate the violence that day. IMac and Dina Temple Raston of NPR's investigations team report. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis, or Diana is the intelligence arm of the Department of Homeland Security, and a key part of its job is to provide an advance written analysis of possible domestic threats. These threat assessments aren't just done for events that might have the potential for violence. Julia Kayyem, former assistant secretary at DHS says that I am a assessments are routine, even for gatherings like the Kentucky Derby or the New Orleans Jazz fest. Its job is to create these threat assessments so that its consumers have a better sense of how to deploy resource is how to think about what a threat maybe, and ahead of January 6th. The consumers of an iron. A assessment would have been the Capitol police or the D. C. Metropolitan Police Department. But the threat assessment that would have put everyone on notice never came. Mitch Silber is the former head of the New York Police Department's intelligence unit. He's the author of an upcoming Atlantic Council report, which looked at what went wrong ahead of the riots. He says the FBI, the New York Police Department, and DHS all had the information they needed to see that there would likely be violence. What failed, he says was the analysis because when we think about an intelligence agency, they have three functions collecting intelligence. Analyzed the intelligence that you know, when you connect the dots. What does it look like? And when you have that picture, then you warn the appropriate authorities so they could take some actions to mitigate what you think is coming. Former DHS officials and intelligence analysts interviewed by NPR. Make plain that any review of the failures ahead of January. 6th should start with the I n A. It turns out that despite its critical role and identifying threats here at home The division is not seen as a plum assignment. If you're a 23 year old and you want to get into the intelligence business, the fun stuff you're not picking DHS I n a and and that has been a struggle for the department from the beginning that sky am again and remember, she used to be the assistant secretary of DHS. Within the intelligence agencies. DHS. Ayanami was not an equal partner. It might not even have been viewed as a zit cousin. It was a distant friend that you tolerated who showed up to the party. What makes teaches I in a different from other intelligence agencies is that its priorities have traditionally been set by the White House. The Obama administration focused on Isis and its effects on young people here in the United States. For the Trump administration. It was the border with Mexico and threats from extremists on the left. Todd Rosenbloom, a deputy undersecretary of intelligence, a DHS up until 2015 Still has contacts in the department. And he believes that the Trump administration was pressuring DHS analysts. They were insisting on a narrative that wasn't true, which made it far harder for I n a You had the president screaming and T fi antifa is behind all this. And do you just leadership was very much aligned and accommodating the president and that there were warnings. Raw intelligence from the NYPD warnings from the FBI and threats on social media that the entire world could see. Nate never put it all together. In one assessment, DHS has said it provided to general report about threats during the election season. Rosenbloom sees a failure of imagination as part of the problem. The dots were all there. Absolutely. Um, but I mean, I'm among the many who could not conceive of an insurrection against the capital being led by the president of the United States. For Mitch Silber. The way to learn from the right is to see it as a turning point for intelligence officials just is 9 11 was certainly for the last 20 years. We've sort of been externally facing and now obviously, we have to take a look within within within our borders for people who would do the country harm. And that is a different type of challenge. The Biden administration announced last week that it was creating a new branch with an eye in a it will focus under mess tick terrorism, and the House of Representatives has plans to form a bipartisan commission to examine the events of January 6th. Investigators are expected to focus on what happened at I n a until Mac and I'm Dina Temple Raston. NPR NEWS Washington OK, Boomer for.