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Rioters were ‘prepared for war’


Rioters were ‘prepared for war’
Police and rioters clashed for hours in the halls of Congress. (BBC)

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Washington – United States Capitol security officials who were ousted in the wake of the January 6 attack on Congress have blamed intelligence failures for the breach.

Testifying to a Senate committee, the officials said that the rioters “came prepared for war” with weapons, radios and climbing gear.

Ex-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said he had prepared for a protest, not “a military-style coordinated assault”.

Four people died after pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol.

Three of the four officials testifying on Tuesday to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee resigned in the immediate wake of the attack, in which one Capitol Police officer was killed.

Acting Washington DC police chief Robert Contee III told lawmakers, who are holding the first public hearing into the attack, that he was “stunned” by how long it took for the Pentagon to deploy National Guard troops to help quell the riots.

Democrats charge that the attack amounted to an insurrection, and impeached former President Donald Trump for allegedly inciting the mob. He was later acquitted by the Senate, becoming the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

Rioters were 'prepared for war'
Ex-chief Sund resigned in the wake of the Capitol breach. (BBC)

 

What did officials say?

All three officials agreed that there appeared to be a level of co-ordination and planning from the crowd.

Sund said that pipe bombs that were placed at the edge of the security perimeter appeared to be intended to draw law enforcement away from the Capitol building.

“When the group arrived at the perimeter, they did not act like any group of protestors I had ever seen,” said the 30-year police veteran.

“A clear lack of accurate and complete intelligence across several federal agencies contributed to this event and not poor planning by the United States Capitol Police,” he added. (BBC)