Ex-chief of Capitol police tells Congress he did not see report warning of ‘war’

Steven Sund
Steven Sund (AP)
16:57pm, Tue 23 Feb 2021
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The former chief of the US Capitol Police has said he learned this week that his officers had received a report from an FBI field office that forecast in detail the chances that extremists could commit “war” in Washington the following day — the day of the Capitol insurrection.

The head of the FBI’s office in Washington has said that once he received the January 5 warning from the Virginia office, the information was quickly shared with other law enforcement agencies through the joint terrorism taskforce, including the Capitol Police.

Former Capitol Police chief Steven Sund told Congress on Tuesday that an officer on the joint terrorism taskforce received the FBI’s memo and forwarded it to a sergeant working on intelligence for the Capitol Police, but the information was not put forward to any other supervisors.

Mr Sund said he was not aware of the report.

He added he did see an intelligence report created within the Capitol Police force warning that Congress could be targeted on January 6.

That report warned extremists were likely to attend and there were calls for people to travel to Washington armed.

Steven Sund listens as a screen shows Robert J Contee III (AP)

A senior security official said he was “stunned” over the delayed response to a request for National Guard help during the mob riot at the Capitol.

Acting Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee III told the joint Senate hearing that the former police chief was “pleading” with army officials to deploy Guard troops as the violence rapidly escalated.

The District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police officers had joined to help US Capitol Police during the attack.

Mr Contee said officers “were out there literally fighting for their lives” but the officials on the call appeared to be going through a ”check the boxes” exercise asking about the optics of stationing National Guard troops at the Capitol. He said there “was not an immediate response”.

The officials are giving evidence in the first public hearing over the siege as a mob loyal to Donald Trump stormed the Capitol to disrupt Congress confirming his defeat to Joe Biden in the presidential election.

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