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FBI Suspects Foreign Instigators Responsible for Capital Attack

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https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/534595-fbi-investigating-if-foreign-actors-funded-capitol-rioters-report
The FBI is reportedly investigating if foreign actors funded some of the rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, one current and one former FBI official told NBC News.

The agency is investigating whether foreign governments, organizations or individuals provided funding to those who helped plan the riot, according to the news outlet. As part of the probe, the agency is reportedly examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin by a French computer programmer before the riot.

The French computer programmer died by suicide shortly after transferring the cryptocurrency, according to french media, NBC News reports.

Yahoo News first highlighted the bitcoin payments on Thursday. The story was then reported by analysis company Chainanalysis.

On Dec. 8, 28.15 BTC, which was worth $522,000 at the time of transfer, was sent to 22 different virtual wallets, many of which belonged to far-right activists, according to the report.

Most of the money went to far-right podcaster Nick Fuentes, who received 13.5 BTC, according to Chainanalysis’s report, which is worth about $250,000.

Fuentes told ProPublica that he was at the rally but didn’t enter the Capitol with the mob, NBC noted.

Separately, the FBI issued a bulletin earlier this week, with the Department of Homeland Security warning that Russian, Iranian and Chinese influence actors have “seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition,” according to NBC.

The FBI declined to comment.