Jan. 6 uprising may have set the stage for worse

The riot wasn't as accidental as it looked — and it could well happen again, terrorism experts say.



December 2, 2021 - 10:16 AM

Protesters gather in front of the Capital building on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

On Jan. 6, when followers of President Trump stormed the Capitol to try to block the election of President Biden, the insurrection seemed like a bizarre anomaly — a freak storm whipped up by pro-Trump extremists and right-wing militias.

But in the months since the attack, the movement that spawned the uprising — sometimes called “election denialism” — has turned out to be larger, more durable and every bit as worrisome as the violence of that chaotic day.

Jan. 6 was the largest assault on the Capitol since the British army destroyed the building in the War of 1812. One rioter, Ashli Babbitt, died in the attack, shot by a Capitol Police officer as she tried to break through a door into the House chamber while police were evacuating members of Congress. Three others in the crowd died, two from natural causes and one from amphetamine intoxication, the D.C. medical examiner determined.

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