Video report by ITV News Global Security Editor Rohit Kachroo
A woman who stormed the US Capitol allegedly posted a video of herself online performing a Nazi salute and another with a voiceover which said "we want to kill all the black people in America" weeks before the January riot.
Riley Williams, a 22-year-old care worker from Pennsylvania, was filmed by ITV News during the riots, seemingly giving orders to protesters.
In separate interviews in January, her mother and father rejected claims she was giving orders to rioters, insisting she was a peaceful protester who got lost in the crowd.
“She’s definitely not a leader,” Wendy Williams, her mother, insisted during an interview with ITV News.
“I just think, I know there was another woman beside her also doing it, I think she was like ‘they’re letting us up, they’re letting us up, let’s go.”
But video of the riot posted on YouTube and studied by ITV News apparently shows her urging rioters outside a door being guarded by police: “If you push hard enough they’ll budge”.
Nine weeks before the riot, Ms Williams is alleged to have posted a video of herself online performing a heil Hitler salute.
Another video allegedly shows her putting on a face mask with a far-right emblem. A voice has been added with a racist comment which says "we want to kill all the black people in America".
A former friend of Ms Williams told ITV News that she had become radicalised quickly. Speaking on condition of anonymity he said: “I don’t know the exact date. I know it would have to be less than a year and a half, at most.”He continued: “It was pretty quick, this study of a different niche viewpoint.“She would always remark about how white people were the ones being oppressed - especially members of the movement are being oppressed."The friend also said Ms Williams became “obsessed" with Nicholas Fuentes, a far-right activist who launched the America First podcast. “She revered him as a God - not as on the same plain as her”.
Riley Williams fled the home she shares with her mother after the riots, without disclosing where she was going.
Identifying the slender woman filmed by ITV News inside the US Capitol as her daughter, she said: “I’m very unhappy, I’m sad that’s happened, that she’s actually inside, that’s what the video shows”.
Her ex-husband, Riley's father, said he took her to the rally with two family friends simply to "witness the spectacle”. He does not want to be identified but claims she became separated from him during the afternoon of January 6 as the crowd pushed forward and was simply “going with the flow”. He says he is certain she had no intention of joining the violence.
"She goes to rallies," Wendy Williams confirmed, claiming she has avoided discussing politics with her daughter since she started associating with far right figures.
"She never, ever talks about them or agrees with them, it’s all about just wanting America to get the correct information."
She said her daughter became interested in the ‘America First movement’ a year ago, but was shocked to see her inside the US Capitol.
She had become concerned about her growing interest in politics, which led to her attending several pro-Trump rallies. She said she was unaware that Riley had become a vocal figure in some far-right forums.