The deadly uprising in the US Capitol on January 6th exposed devastating security and intelligence weaknesses. Military authorities were too slow to respond to calls for National Guard support against an overwhelming mob, security officials told Congress on Tuesday.
Among the most serious errors detected: The Federal Bureau of Investigation sent a report to the US Capitol Police on the eve of the riot warning that extremist groups were coming to Washington “ready to go”, but the document failed to reach the USCP leadership.
And lawmakers also heard that military officials “hesitated” to send troops to defend Congress, even when it was clear that conditions in the Capitol had deteriorated.
In the first Congressional hearing on the attack, police chiefs and NCOs of the House and Senate admitted that they were blind due to a lack of intelligence and coordination of response to the worst insurrection since the Civil War.
As a convincing testimony, they painted a picture of officers who were heavily outnumbered by armed and coordinated insurgents.
They pointed to a number of intelligence deficiencies in terms of threat level, including assessments of the “distant” and “unlikely” chances of serious violence on January 6, although extremist groups such as the Proud Boys made it clear that they were in Washington that day would come to stir up trouble.
“No company, including the FBI, has provided any information to suggest that thousands of well-equipped armed insurgents were launching a coordinated violent attack on the United States Capitol,” said a situation that left its officers completely unprepared for a violent mob The then head of the US Capitol Police, Steven Sund.
However, later in the four-hour joint hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Rules Committees, Sund said the USCP had “received” the FBI report of violence, but “no leadership, including myself, at the Capitol Police was made aware. ” that at the time of the event. “
“This is very worrying,” said Senator Jeff Merkley Sund during questioning.
Sund resigned from his post days after the uprising, which killed five people, including a police officer and four other people. Two other police officers died of suicide shortly afterwards.
House NCO Paul Irving and Senate NCO Michael Stenger also resigned.
Irving testified that “Intelligence did not say there would be a coordinated attack on the Capitol, nor was it considered in any of the inter-agency discussions I participated in in the days leading up to the attack.”
The worst of the worst ‘
The unprecedented rupture of the Citadel of American Democracy came on January 6th after then-President Donald Trump whipped up a crowd of his supporters and asked them to march into Congress and “fight like hell”.
The uprising, fueled by Trump’s repeated false claims that the election had been rigged, was apparently aimed at blocking Joe Biden’s certification as the November 3 vote winner.
Washington’s acting police chief Robert Contee said his officers “were literally fighting for their lives” on Capitol Hill.
But he was “stunned by the reaction” of the army’s division, which he described as “reluctant” to deploy National Guard troops to protect the Capitol.
Officials attending the hearing agreed that a thorough review of information-sharing operations and internal processes is needed in order to determine the reforms that need to be implemented to prevent new attacks.
Senate committee chair Amy Klobuchar announced the “intelligence breakdown” on the FBI report and announced that a new hearing would be called next week with testimony from officials from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon .
Gary Peters, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, described January 6 as “one of the darkest days in our nation” and said the security issues at the Capitol were “a systemic and governance failure” that needed to be addressed.
Lawmakers heard an exciting account of the riots from Capitol Police Captain Carneysha Mendoza, including how she helped keep a group of rioters at bay as they forced their way into the building.
“This was by far the worst of the worst,” Mendoza said, noting rioters using “military grade” tear gas in the rotunda while fighting with police.
“We could have had ten times as many people with us and I still think the fight would have been just as devastating,” she said.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)