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Terrifying scope of Capitol attack becoming clearer as Washington locks down for Biden's inauguration

January 16, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.9%. 3 min read.

Members of the National Guard assemble outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. President Trump's unprecedented second impeachment heads to the Senate, where his fate rests with Republican leader McConnell, who now has more leverage than ever over the president in his final week in office. Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg

Federal authorities are piecing together a chilling picture of the January 6 insurrection that reveals major security and intelligence failures, underscores profound fissures in American society and hints at the political challenges ahead for President-elect Joe Biden, even as they race to ensure the safety of US leaders and next week's inauguration.

Washington (CNN)Federal authorities are piecing together a chilling picture of the January 6 insurrection that reveals major security and intelligence failures, underscores profound fissures in American society and hints at the political challenges ahead for President-elect Joe Biden, even as they race to ensure the safety of US leaders and next week's inauguration.

Evidence suggests planning by the insurrectionists, and there are questions and concerns that they may have received support from some Capitol Police, current and former members of the military, and even some members of Congress.

While some Republicans argued President Donald Trump's unprecedented second impeachment will only inflame divisions, federal officials warned that extremists, after seeing the results of last week's attack on the US Capitol, are now likely more emboldened to carry out attacks on the January 20 inauguration and throughout 2021.

An internal FBI bulletin disseminated to law enforcement this week warned that "armed protests" are being planned at all 50 state capitols and in Washington in the days leading up to Biden's swearing in.

As senior administration leaders who would normally take the lead remained silent for days -- including the heads of the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the President himself -- federal officials launched the most extensive counterterrorism probe since September 11, 2001, and continued planning to fortify Washington.

Already, thousands of armed pro-Trump extremists are plotting to surround the US Capitol ahead of Biden's inauguration, according to a lawmaker briefed by security officials Monday.

At least two US Capitol Police officers were suspended and at least 10 more are under investigation for allegedly playing some sort of role, CNN reported.

Part of that hunt is for "several" people possibly involved in the killing of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, according to two law enforcement officials.

On Friday, Steven D'Antuono of the FBI's Washington Field Office said his investigators are "making progress" on the investigation and are looking at "anyone and everyone" who may be involved.

Thirty-one members of Congress sent a letter to the acting House Sergeant at Arms, acting Senate Sergeant at Arms, and the acting chief of the US Capitol Police asking them to investigate "unusual" and "concerning" tours they saw and reported to the Sergeant at Arms on January 5.

The groups of six to eight, who wore MAGA apparel, according to Democratic Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, "could only have gained access to the Capitol Complex from a Member of Congress or a member of their staff," the letter said.

Later that day, when asked if they are investigating allegations that Capitol Police and lawmakers were involved in the riot, D'Antuono of the FBI's Washington Field Office said they will "leave no stone unturned" and are "looking at every piece of the puzzle. "

Evidence uncovered so far, including weapons and tactics seen on surveillance video, suggests a level of planning, a federal law enforcement official said.

Prosecutors describe those who took over the Capitol as "insurrectionists" and offer new details about Chansley's role in the violent siege last week, including that Chansley left a note on the dais where Vice President Pence had stood that morning saying, "It's only a matter of time, justice is coming. "

"As a former law enforcement officer, it is especially disappointing to see the failure of law enforcement officials, including the U. S. Capitol Police, to notify individuals like myself that we were targeted and at risk from the indicted terrorist and his co-conspirators. "

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security failed to issue threat assessments about the potential of violence at the US Capitol ahead of last week's deadly attack, according to a source familiar with the matter and a senior DHS official.

The Washington Post reported Friday that three days before the attack, an internal Capitol Police intelligence report warned that angry Trump supporters could attack "Congress itself. " The 12-page report describes a scenario eerily like the one that unfolded, with the President's enraged backers trying to stop Biden's certification and overturn the election results.

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