Capitol riots: Five takeaways from the arrests


The storming of the US Capitol last month left five people dead, over 100 police officers injured and millions of dollars in damage to the building. Most of the rioters were allowed to leave the building without facing arrest, but a month-long search for offenders has resulted in charges against a reported 221 people. Among those arrested, there have been state lawmakers, military veterans and even a gold medal-winning Olympian. Here’s a closer look at who conducted the siege and why. Far-right insignia was spotted on the clothing, badges and flags of several insurrectionists, but the vast majority of the 200-plus people charged so far are ordinary pro-Trump activists.

So far, only about 10 of those charged have been found to have ties to organised far right militias or other right-wing extremist groups. “What we are dealing with here is not merely a mix of right-wing organisations, but a broader mass movement with violence at its core,” wrote Dr Robert Pape, director of the Chicago Project on Security & Threats.

Dr Pape led a 22-person research team from the University of Chicago in a study – titled Faces of the American Insurrection – that takes a closer look at who has been arrested since 6 January.(BBC)…[+]