Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness briefing for Friday, 20 August 2021. You can receive this daily intel brief via email by signing up at

  • FBI finds little 6 Jan. coordination
  • Chinese students return to U.S. colleges
  • Lithuania’s Belt & Road problem


You can watch today’s Daily SA briefing on YouTube (click the box above).

FBI: The long-running investigation into the Capitol Hill protest found no central coordination between groups. The groups were found to have coordinated amongst themselves, but not led by right-wing media personalities or with thousands of co-conspirators. The groups apparently didn’t have any plan after breaching the Capitol and the Justice Department prosecutors rejected “seditious conspiracy” charges. (Analyst Comment: Evidence for the insurrection narrative may be collapsing but that will likely not slow the momentum of anti-extremism programs underway across the government. Releasing this on a Friday is designed to kill the story over the weekend. I have more on this in today’s InFocus. – D.M.)
STUDENTS: Chinese students are clamoring to return to U.S. university campuses. An estimated 100,000 Chinese students are seeking flights back to the U.S. after spending a year at home during remote classes. The new influx is unlikely to reach the peak of 350,000 from 2019 while new regulatory restrictions are limiting the flow of students. Delta Airlines is reintroducing student-only chartered flights from China, pending approval by the communist government. (AC: Chinese students are frequently used as intelligence collectors by their government as a condition of their U.S. education. The influx of students is likely to carry with it thousands of formally trained intelligence agents to resume espionage operations inside universities. – D.M.)
LITHUANIA: China’s state rail operator is suspending services to Lithuania through September. The withholding of cargo and rail service is punishment for recent Taiwanese engagement. Lithuania provided Taiwan with 20,000 vaccines and expanded diplomatic relations, “bypassing China’s jurisdiction.” (AC: China is sending a message to NATO that they will overtly disrupt economic activity to force compliance with Chinese policy objectives. Lithuania is a Belt & Road recipient, indicating the long term influence concerns are true with Chinese infrastructure projects. – D.M.)
HURRICANE SEASON: Tropical Storm Henri will make landfall in New England this weekend. The National Hurricane Center predicts a low chance of flash flooding throughout the weekend into Monday. Swells, rains, and winds are expected to continue this weekend across coastal New England and eastern Long Island.

In today’s Early Warning briefing, Dustin looks at the expansion of federal anti-extremist efforts. Upgrade your Situational Awareness to Early Warning here: