Capitol Hill Insurrectionists

We need a nuanced understanding of “who” stormed the US Capitol on Jan 6, 2021 in order to know who we are dealing with and create viable solutions for the future. Accordingly, CPOST has conducted a systematic analysis of the complete set of individuals arrested by the FBI and Washington DC police for offenses related to the storming of the US Capitol, numbering 235 as of January 28 2021, and expected to grow.

This analysis uses official court documents and media sources of the primary demographics, socio-economic characteristics, militant group affiliations, over 1,500 documents.

Of these 235, 193 have been specifically charged with being inside the US Capitol or breaking through barriers to enter the Capitol grounds. We analyzed these 193 as our primary focus and compared our findings on the Capitol Hill insurrectionists to the demographic profile of the 108 individuals arrested by the FBI and local police for deadly violence related to right wing political causes from 2015-2020 using the same methodology. The Chicago Project on Security and Threats has over 15 years of experience conducting demographic studies of international and domestic terrorists. For an example, see our American Face of ISIS study (2017).

For our analysis in The Atlantic, click here.

Major Update to Capitol Hill Insurrection Analysis

CPOST has produced a major update to its American Political Violence analysis. This report assesses risk factors for the Capitol Hill Insurrection and wider movement based on three separate studies:

  • Documentary analysis of the demographics and home county characteristics based on court records for the 377 arrested for the Capitol attack.
  • A nationally representative survey of 1,000 American to understand the movement’s national scope, drivers, and mobilization potential.
  • A separate survey of 1,000 American conservatives to further probe relevant risk factors, attitudes, and beliefs.

One primary driver stands out across the three separate studies, all with different methodologies: Fear of the ‘great replacement’, the belief that the rights of minorities will overtake that of whites. This holds even when controlling for a wide variety of factors.

  • Statistical analysis of the 250 unique counties compared to over 3,200 other counties in the United States shows that for every one percent decline in the non-Hispanic white population, a county was over six times more likely to send at least one insurrectionist.
  • In a representative survey of 1,000 Americans in March, believing that the rights of Hispanic and black people are overtaking white people increases odds of being in the insurrectionist movement three-fold.
  • In a separate survey of 1,000 conservative Americans in February, fear that Hispanic and black people will have more rights than white people increases odds of being in the insurrectionist movement two-fold.

To read the April 6th report, click here.

Robert Pape's OpEd about the April 6th report in the Washington Post.

Watch a 15 minute video summary of the findings.

Media coverage and interviews

  • Robert Pape interview with Don Lemon on CNN.
  • The New York Times: Fears of White People Losing Out Permeate Capitol Rioters’ Towns, Study Finds.
  • Coverage of our latest report in the Mehdi Hasan Show.
  • Esquire: A New Study Draws a Line from January 6 to Charlottesville.