© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Hearing
By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Congressional Homeland Security and Intelligence oversight committees are opening investigations into why federal and local law enforcement agencies did not heed a warning the day before. pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol, congressional aides said Thursday. They join the Senate National Security and Rules Committees investigating security breaches in the Capitol complex on January 6 that resulted in riots that entered the building and threatened lawmakers, congressional staff and members of the media. On January 5, the FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia, issued a warning widely to law enforcement agencies that extremists were preparing to travel to Washington to commit acts of violence and “war,” the FBI confirmed. Supporters of President Donald Trump wreaked havoc in the building following a speech in which the Republican urged them to fight the election victory of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Trump falsely claims that he lost due to widespread electoral fraud. The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach Trump on charges of incitement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation bulletin was “raw, open source” intelligence, meaning the FBI had not confirmed it, a law enforcement source said, a possible explanation for the weak police response. The Senate Intelligence Committee, whose chairman in the new Congress will be Democrat Mark Warner, is gathering information and will interview witnesses on why federal and local agencies did not respond more aggressively and effectively to the FBI warning, said a committee officer. The FBI declined to comment on the Congressional investigations, and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The House Intelligence Committee, led by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, is also investigating why law enforcement agencies, in light of the warning bulletin, did not prepare further for the type of violence that occurred. said a committee official. The official said the committee has already begun reaching out to intelligence and law enforcement officials to “understand what warning signs may have been missed, determine if there were systemic failures, and consider how best to address the issue. fighting domestic violent extremism, including addressing any gaps in legislation or policy. ” Meanwhile, the House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, will also look at how federal law enforcement agencies performed. “One avenue that the committee will definitely consider is to ignore the threats of domestic terrorism, even though there were all these little attacks and warning signs,” said a congressional aide. Congress is also expected to investigate how social media and tech companies were used to organize the uproar.