The U.S. Capitol Police Chief is warning that intelligence has found that extremists could be planning an attack. Capitol Police plan to maintain the enhanced level of security around the Capitol for now, and at least through to President Biden‘s first official address to Congress.
According to NBC News, acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said on Thursday, “We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6th have stated their desires 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, which we know that date has not been identified,” she told members of Congress.
Pittman was specifically referring to Biden’s upcoming first address to a joint session of Congress. “So based on that information, we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward,” she added.
Pittman spoke at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Her comments came after she was asked about the need for continued security measures around the Capitol, including the fencing off of surrounding areas and the deployment of the National Guard.
Pittman strongly emphasized that the rioters that attacked the Capitol during the insurrection “weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers.” She claimed, “They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process.”
Pittman pointed out to members of the subcommittee that oversees the funding for the legislative branch that while authorities knew armed extremists could commit violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the intelligence collected in advance of the assault still showed “no credible threat” consistent with the size and scale of the riot that actually occurred.
“The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the 6th,” Pittman stated. “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.”