Corrections and Clarifications: The Associated Press, citing unidentified sources, reported in January that Constable Brian Sicknick may have been hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. But no official cause of death has been released, and US Capitol Police only said he died “from injuries sustained while on duty.”
The FBI issued a terrible warning the day before the Capitol riots that violent extremists were plotting an armed uprising in Washington, a plot that the attackers called a “war” to coincide with Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory at the electoral college, officials confirmed on Tuesday.
FBI Deputy Director Steven D’Antuono said the intelligence report, prepared by the office in the Norfolk, Va. Office, included a “message board thread” describing a series of preparations for a assault, including a map of the Capitol area tunnels and assembly areas in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
During a Justice Department briefing, D’Antuono said that while the information could not be traced to an actual suspect, the information was shared within “40 minutes” with enforcement partners. the law, including the Joint Terrorism Task Forces, which includes the United States Capitol Police. , the law enforcement agency that led the botched response.
JOINT HEADS OF STAFF: The Capitol riots were criminal “ sedition and insurrection ”
The content of the warning, first revealed on Tuesday by the Washington Post, included disturbing language calling on attackers to “be ready to fight.”
“Congress needs to hear the glass shatter, the doors kicked in … Go there ready for war. We get our president or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this,” reported the Post, citing the document.
INTENTIONS: ‘It could have been much, much worse’ as some rioters were heavily armed, sought Pence, Pelosi
D’Antuono said the warning was part of an intelligence cache the FBI shared with law enforcement partners on the eve of the January 6 riots. The prescient nature of Norfolk’s warning, however, seemed to represent one of the most serious alarms raised before the deadly assault.
“In the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 rally, the FBI worked internally with every FBI field office to ensure that they were looking for any information they might have developed about potential violence during the rally on 6 January, “said the deputy director. “We developed information that a number of individuals were planning to travel to the Washington area with the intention of causing violence.”
As a result, D’Antuono said some of the information prompted the pre-riot arrest of Enrique Tarrio, leader of the far-right Proud Boys group that backs President Donald Trump.
“Other people have been identified in other parts of the country and their travel has been interrupted afterwards,” said the deputy director.
The actual assault, which left doors smashed and windows smashed in the crowd’s wake, turned out to be eerily similar to the call to arms by Trump supporters, as the FBI Norfolk warning points out.
However, it is still unclear whether officials have specifically changed security preparations to heed this warning.
In the end, the siege left five people dead, including a Capitol Hill cop who pro-Trump rioters allegedly beat with a fire extinguisher. The Associated Press, citing unidentified sources, reported that the deceased officer, Brian Sicknick, may have been hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. But no official cause of death has been released, and the United States Capitol Police have only said he died “from injuries sustained while on duty” and provided no further details.
The assault also raised troubling questions about an obvious lack of preparation for dealing with the crowd that overwhelmed the United States Capitol Police and devastated the iconic monument.
“ Only the beginning ”: 170 suspects
Reports of the explicit advance warnings came as D’Antuono and DCUS attorney Michael Sherwin described a sprawling criminal investigation that now includes more than 170 suspects, some of whom could be charged with sedition.
Sherwin said 70 people have so far been charged with various crimes, including possession of weapons and explosives.
Federal officials have not ruled out that some members of the crowd, who wore plastic hand ties known as zip-ties, intended to take lawmakers hostage.
Sherwin called the investigation “mind-blowing”.
“This is just the start,” Sherwin said, adding that some initially charged with minor offenses would likely face a myriad of felony charges before the investigation is completed.
In addition to the chaos and violence, authorities have raised the possibility that some of those who searched lawmakers’ offices took sensitive national security documents.
The deputy director and US attorney said the massive investigation was aided by 100,000 publicly submitted digital media items, which help law enforcement identify suspects.
Federal officials said they are also considering a recommendation from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., who urged officials to place riot suspects on no-fly lists for them. prevent attempting a return to Washington to disrupt the January 20 inauguration.
SECRET SERVICE: The inauguration is a “ zero failure mission ”
The FBI issued a newsletter to law enforcement partners, warning of the possibility of further armed protests in Washington and in state capitals across the country. The bulletin warned that actions could begin on January 17 and continue until the inauguration.
Already, state authorities have taken steps to fortify their Capitol buildings to protect themselves from any planned attack.
ARMED CLAIMS: Dreaded violence from January 17 to 20
The public ‘will be shocked’
Sherwin described the scope of the ongoing investigation as perhaps “unprecedented” and said he could see hundreds of cases filed before the investigation is completed.
The chief federal prosecutor in Washington said a federal grand jury has been set aside for an entire day on Monday to review a series of charges against suspects. And he suggested the public “will be shocked” when a full account of the siege emerges in the weeks and months to come.
The investigation into the murder of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick is one of the most important ongoing cases.
“The death of one of our law enforcement brothers runs deep,” D’Antuono said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: FBI warned of threat of ‘war’ on the eve of the Capitol riots