“This attack, this siege was criminal behavior, plain and simple”: FBI chief Christopher Wray has sharply condemned the violent storming of the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. His agency classifies the incident as “domestic terrorism,” Wray said at a hearing in the judicial committee of the US Senate.
The behavior of the right-wing rioters “has no place in our democracy,” Wray said. The incident on January 6th “horrified” him, but unfortunately it was not an isolated event. “The domestic terrorism problem has metastasized across the country for a long time, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.”
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 there.
Parliament’s security forces were unable to stop the attack. The ex-chief of police at the US Capitol, Steven Sund, had recently made serious allegations against the FBI. A lack of information was partly responsible for the attack on the Congress headquarters, said Sund.
Wray read the FBI assessment himself later
The FBI’s branch in Norfolk, Virginia, had apparently informed other police authorities about possible violence at the Capitol with an inaccurate letter. However, the evaluation apparently never got through to the heads of the local authorities. When asked how this could have happened, Wray said, “I don’t have a good answer to that.” The paper had been sent to three different places, but Wray said he himself didn’t see it until a few days later.
At least five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. Trump had incited his supporters shortly before at a rally with the false statement that his victory in the presidential election in November had been stolen.
The Democrats accused him of “inciting a riot” and initiated impeachment proceedings. Trump was acquitted, however, because there was no two-thirds majority in the Senate.
“No evidence” of the participation of the Antifa
The US Department of Justice had recently indicted more than 300 people in connection with the storming of the Capitol. Among the defendants are also 18 people with connections to the ultra-right group “Proud Boys” and nine people from the militia “Oath Keepers”. Supporters of Trump had recently claimed that the storm was actually caused by left-wing Antifa activists.
Wray now clearly rejected this unsubstantiated speculation. “We haven’t seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or supporters of Antifa in connection with January 6,” he said.