Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman issued an alarming statement that members of violent militias who were involved in the Jan. 6 riot are allegedly plotting to blow up the Capitol during Biden’s State of the Union address.
She made the explosive claim on Thursday during her testimony via teleconference at a House hearing. She posited that the goal was to kill as many members of Congress as possible.
“We know that members of militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 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,” Pittman declared.
“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 warned.
Video Credit: Reuters
The police chief answered questions on the need for fencing and the presence of the National Guard. This would seem to explain the reasoning used to keep the approximately 5,000 National Guard troops stationed at the Capitol through at least March.
“We have no intention of keeping the National Guard soldiers or that fencing any longer than what is actually needed,” Pittman stated on Thursday.
“The temporary infrastructure is only to address the vulnerabilities after the attack of January 6. Our priority is to make sure that the members of Congress are safe, and that the democratic process is protected. Once we have appropriate infrastructure and human assets in place we will lean forward with the removal of the fencing,” she explained.
Pittman was quick to defend her department against accusations that they ignored intelligence that an attack was coming on Jan. 6.
“The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the 6th. There was no such intelligence,” she proclaimed.
“Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists,” she stated, “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.”
Pittman claimed the rioters “weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers.”
“They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process,” she alleged.
It should be noted that Pittman also stated in front of the House Appropriations subcommittee that it was evident that some of the rioters were organized. However, it was also obvious the many others that were present that day were just normal Americans who were upset and then proceeded to act with a mob-like mentality. She admitted that the police were not prepared to handle that scenario.
A terrorism advisory bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security was sent out on January 27. It is effective through April and was issued in connection to a “heightened threat environment” following President Biden’s inauguration.
That bulletin warns that anti-government “ideologically motivated violent extremists” who are motivated by “perceived grievances fuelled by false narratives” could “continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.”
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