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Feds investigating if Capitol rioters wanted to take hostages

January 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 46.8%. 2 min read.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Federal authorities are working to determine the level of planning and coordination among insurgents, including members of law enforcement and the military, that carried out the attack last week on the US Capitol, law enforcement officials said.

(CNN)Federal authorities are working to determine the level of planning and coordination among insurgents, including members of law enforcement and the military, that carried out the attack last week on the US Capitol, law enforcement officials said.

People in military-style gear, some carrying zip-tie restraints, were seen in videos and photos participating in the ransacking of the Capitol, raising the question of whether capturing lawmakers -- or even Vice President Mike Pence -- was the goal, according to a federal law enforcement official.

Before the Trump rally on Wednesday, federal and local law enforcement agencies shared raw intelligence showing that some people associated with extremist groups, including some with White supremacist ideologies, were expected to flock to Washington at Trump's urging, according to law enforcement officials briefed on the intelligence.

One official said the regional level intelligence reports were broadly shared, including with the US Capitol Police.

"It was a lot of noise, like there always is," said one federal law enforcement official who reviewed intelligence reports from before the Trump rally.

More than 20 arrests on federal charges made since Wednesday have largely focused on some of the relatively easy to identify insurrectionists, many of whom proudly posted on social media or even livestreamed their participation, law enforcement officials said.

The harder work now is to try to build potential domestic terrorism cases against people who helped engineer the attack, one federal law enforcement official said.

"The goal here is to really to identify people and get them at least what we call placeholder charges initially and then we look deeper into how these individuals came here, how much planning was involved, and any actors domestic or foreign," said Ken Kohl, the acting principal assistant US Attorney in Washington.

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