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FBI is­sued warn­ing be­fore Capi­tol ri­ots

- Kevin John­son Crime · U.S. News · White-collar Crime · Politics · Law Enforcement · Law · FBI · Washington · Joe Biden · Joe · Electoral college · U.S. Electoral College · Norfolk · Norfolk · Virginia · Kentucky · Massachusetts · Pennsylvania · South Carolina · United States of America · Donald Trump · United States Senate · Charles Schumer · New York · United States Department of Justice · United States Capitol Police · Nothing

The FBI is­sued a dire warn­ing on the day be­fore the Capi­tol ri­ots that vi­o­lent ex­trem­ists were plan­ning an armed up­ris­ing in Washington, a plot the at­tack­ers de­scribed as “war” to co­in­cide with Congress’ cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Joe Bi­den’s Elec­toral Col­lege vic­tory, of­fi­cials con­firmed Tues­day.

As­sis­tant FBI Direc­tor Steven D’An­tuono said the in­tel­li­gence re­port, pre­pared by the bu­reau’s Nor­folk, Vir­ginia, of­fice, in­cluded a “thread from a mes­sage board” that de­scribed an ar­ray of prepa­ra­tions for an as­sault, in­clud­ing a map of Capi­tol-area tun­nels and stag­ing ar­eas in in Ken­tucky, Mas­sachusetts, Penn­syl­va­nia and South Carolina.

Dur­ing a Jus­tice De­part­ment brief­ing, D’An­tuono said the in­for­ma­tion was shared within “40 min­utes” with law en­force­ment part­ners, in­clud­ing the Joint Ter­ror­ism Task Forces, which in­cludes the U.S. Capi­tol Po­lice, the agency that led the failed re­sponse.

The con­tents of the warn­ing, first dis­closed ear­lier Tues­day by the Washington Post, in­cluded omi­nous lan­guage call­ing for at­tack­ers to “be ready to fight.”

“Congress needs to hear glass break­ing, doors be­ing kicked in ... Go there ready for war. We get our Pres­i­dent or we die. NOTH­ING else will achieve this goal,” the Post re­ported, cit­ing the doc­u­ment.

D’An­tuono said the warn­ing was part of a cache of in­tel­li­gence that the FBI shared with law en­force­ment part­ners in the run-up to the Jan. 6 ri­ots. The pre­scient na­ture of the Nor­folk warn­ing, how­ever, ap­peared to rep­re­sent one of the most se­ri­ous of the alarms that were touched off be­fore the deadly as­sault.

The as­sault, which left splin­tered doors and shat­tered win­dows in the mob’s wake, proved sim­i­lar to the call to arms by sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, as out­lined by the FBI warn­ing.

It was still un­clear, how­ever, whether of­fi­cials specif­i­cally acted on the doc­u­ment or al­tered se­cu­rity prepa­ra­tions to ac­count for the warn­ing.

The siege left five dead, in­clud­ing a Capi­tol po­lice of­fi­cer whom pro-Trump ri­ot­ers al­legedly beat with a fire ex­tin­guisher.

The as­sault also raised trou­bling ques­tions about a clear lack of prepa­ra­tion to con­front the mob that over­whelmed U.S. Capi­tol Po­lice and laid waste to the iconic land­mark.

In­for­ma­tion about the ex­plicit ad­vance warn­ings came as D’An­tuono and D.C. U.S. At­tor­ney Michael Sher­win de­scribed a sprawl­ing crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion that now in­cludes more more than 170 sus­pects, some of whom could be charged with sedi­tion.

Sher­win said 70 had been charged with a range of crimes, in­clud­ing the pos­ses­sion of weapons and ex­plo­sives.

Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties have not ruled out that some in the mob, who were car­ry­ing plas­tic hand re­straints, may have in­tended to take law­mak­ers hostage.

Sher­win cast the in­quiry as “mind­blow­ing” in scope.

“This is only the be­gin­ning,” Sher­win said, adding that some ini­tially charged with mi­nor tres­pass­ing charges would likely face myr­iad felony charges be­fore the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was over.

In ad­di­tion to the may­hem and vi­o­lence, au­thor­i­ties raised the prospect that some who had rif­fled the of­fices of law­mak­ers may have taken sen­si­tive na­tional se­cu­rity doc­u­ments.

The as­sis­tant direc­tor and the U.S. at­tor­ney said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was be­ing aided by 100,000 pieces of dig­i­tal me­dia sub­mit­ted by the pub­lic.

Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties said they also were con­sid­er­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion from Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who urged of­fi­cials to place riot sus­pects on no-fly lists to bar them from re­turn­ing to Washington to dis­rupt the Jan. 20 in­au­gu­ra­tion.

The FBI is­sued a bul­letin to law en­force­ment part­ners, warn­ing of the po­ten­tial for armed demon­stra­tions in Washington and in state cap­i­tals across the coun­try. The bul­letin cau­tioned that ac­tions could be­gin Jan. 17 and con­tinue through the in­au­gu­ra­tion.

Al­ready, state au­thor­i­ties have taken ac­tion to for­tify their Capi­tol build­ings to guard from any planned as­saults.

Sher­win de­scribed the scope of the on­go­ing in­quiry as pos­si­bly “un­prece­dented” and said it could see the fil­ing of hun­dreds of cases be­fore the in­quiry is com­plete.

The chief fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor in Washington said a fed­eral grand jury was booked for Mon­day to con­sider an ar­ray of charges against sus­pects. And he sug­gested that the pub­lic “will be shocked” when a full ac­count­ing of the siege emerges in the next few months.

Among the most promi­nent cases be­ing pur­sued is the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mur­der of Capi­tol Po­lice Of­fi­cer Brian Sick­nick.

“It cuts to the core that one of our law en­force­ment brethren has passed away,” D’An­tuono said.

 ?? MAX CUR­TIS VIA STO­RY­FUL ?? The FBI said a mes­sage board de­scribed prepa­ra­tions for an as­sault and was shared with law en­force­ment of­fi­cials.
MAX CUR­TIS VIA STO­RY­FUL The FBI said a mes­sage board de­scribed prepa­ra­tions for an as­sault and was shared with law en­force­ment of­fi­cials.

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