Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Perpetrators “prepared for war”
Capitol Police blame the secret services
Trump supporters storm the Washington Capitol on January 6th. The US Senate is now investigating how this could happen. Now senior security officials testify and point their fingers at the secret services.
The ex-chief of the police of the US Capitol, Steven Sund, has blamed a lack of intelligence information for the security disaster in the attack on the Congress headquarters in early January. Sund said at a hearing in the US Senate that intelligence in no way predicted what would happen on Jan. 6. His team had prepared for a large demonstration with the potential for violence. Instead, they had to do with a “military coordinated attack” and “violent takeover of the Capitol building”. Sund emphasized that the police are dependent on information from the secret service apparatus. “We rely on this information to be absolutely correct.”
“No agency, including the FBI, has provided any intelligence that there would be a coordinated violent attack on the US Capitol by thousands of well-equipped, armed insurgents,” Sund said. Compared to the radical supporters of the then President Donald Trump, his officials were “clearly outnumbered”.
“They had weapons, chemical ammunition, explosive devices, shields, protective vests,” explained the Sund who had stepped back after the attack on the parliament building. “These criminals were prepared for war.”
Other high-ranking security officials from Congress also complained at the Senate hearing that the intelligence agencies had failed to do so. Former House Chief Security Officer Paul Irving said it was predicted that events would resemble previous marches by supporters of then-US President Donald Trump. He relied on that. Irving said while intelligence services had warned of a “risk of violence” that could also target Congress; the possibility of a “coordinated attack” was never mentioned.
“Based on the intelligence we had, I mistakenly thought we were prepared,” said Irving. “Now we know we had a wrong plan.”
The security officials also complained that the National Guard was too slow to intervene and it took hours to arrive. Washington Police Chief Robert Contee said he was “stunned” at the Department of Defense’s “reluctance” to send National Guardsmen. His police officers “fought for their lives”.
Sund testified that when he requested the National Guard, a senior military representative said: “I don’t like the picture of the National Guard lined up in front of the Capitol.”
Chaos in the Capitol
Supporters of the elected and now out of office President Trump stormed the Capitol in early January during a session of Congress and wreaked havoc and havoc there. Parliament’s security forces were not up to the onslaught. At least five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer.
Sund, Irving and the then senior Senate security officer, Michael Stenger, had resigned from their posts after the attack, faced with fierce criticism that the US parliamentary seat could be overrun in this way. Police in the US capital Washington rushed to the aid of Congress security that day.