The US security officials said on Tuesday that the FBI warned the law enforcement agencies ahead of last week’s siege of the US Capitol about the possible threat of violent attack. But many experts were quick to point out that their statements contradicted their earlier claims that they were caught off guard by the January 6 riots.
The statement comes a week after the extraordinary attack on the US Congress, and authorities have vowed to seek the brazen attack in Washington aggressively. So far, most of the charges brought against the rioters have been misdemeanors. Michael Sherwin, the US acting attorney, stated that the Justice Department was planning to bring sedition charges against the demonstrators.
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The charges carry up to more than twenty years in prison, and the Justice Department has also constituted a strike force to examine the potential of sedition charges. Besides, the officials maintained that they were using the same techniques used in international counterterrorism investigations. it includes analyzing the movement of the protestors and the flow of money.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority leader, urged the authorities to put the rioters on the no-fly list, a move that is mostly used by the governments against the people associated with terrorism activities. Even though Tuesday’s press conference by the security officials intended to defend the Federal law enforcement’s preparations to counter the violent attack, it raised numerous new questions about the coordination between the agencies.
On the other hand, following the attack, the Chief of the Capitol police department stated that they were unaware of the threats and had only prepared for a free speech demonstration. Even without warning from the federal agency, there was ample potential threat of the protests turning violent. However, the Capitol police did not bolster its troops’ presence or asked for assistance. Interestingly, the officials also turned down help from the Pentagon, three days ahead of the riots. And when the backup was finally called, it took the troops more than two hours to assemble outside the Congress.
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