Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed disturbing details about multiple right-wing militias that participated in U.S. Capitol riots on January 6. Not only were they contemplating harming lawmakers but, according to Pittman, intelligence indicates that there were also plans to "blow up" the U.S. Capitol amid the State of the Union.
On Thursday, February 25, Pittman delivered her testimony during a hearing with a House Appropriations subcommittee. "We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6 have stated their desire that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible, with a direct nexus to the State of the Union," Pittman said during her testimony.
She added, "Based on that information, we think it's prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced security posture until we address those issues going forward."
According to Pittman, the reports detailing potential threats to the Capitol have influenced the increased presence of law enforcement at the federal building. However, she also noted, "that existing intelligence has failed to highlight the fact that rioters who stormed the Capitol were not exclusively targeting politicians and officers, further stressing the need for heightened security in Washington D.C."
Pittman told the committee, "They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process."
She also tried to deflect criticism aim at the Capitol Police over its failure to anticipate the January 6 attack.
"The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the 6th," Pittman explained. "There was no such intelligence. Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol, nor did the intelligence received from the FBI, or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat."
However, other reports have suggested there were significant warnings about the coming insurrection. The Washington Post reported on an FBI bulletin prior to the attack and obtained the report:
"As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to 'unlawful lockdowns' to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington, D.C.," the document says. "An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating 'Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal."
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