(ConservativePeak.com)- Another serious threat could be looming at the U.S. Capitol building soon.
This week, the U.S. Capitol Police announced they would be maintaining the increased security around the Capitol building through at least President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Yogananda Pittman, the acting chief of the department, said Thursday they would do this because recent intelligence reports suggest that some extremists could plan an attack for that day.
She told Congress this week:
“We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified.
“So, based on that information, we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward.”
A House Appropriations subcommittee grilled Pittman about the continued need for the enhanced level of security at the Capitol, which includes the National Guard being deployed and security fencing being erect. The acting chief continued to emphasize that those who attacked the Capitol on January 6 “weren’t only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers.”
“They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process,” Pittman added.
While no date has yet been set for Biden’s first State of the Union address, the president is expected to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress sometime after his COVID-19 relief package is passed — assuming, of course, it does get pushed through.
At the subcommittee hearing, Pittman reiterated that the Capitol Police knew before January 6 that extremists could try to commit violence at the Capitol building, the intelligence they had before the day showed “no credible threat” of the scale or size of the riot that ended up happening.
She said her department prepared for the day based on the information that was gathered by the intelligence community, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
“It has been suggested that the department was either ignorant of or ignored critical intelligence that indicated that an attack of the magnitude that we experienced on January 6 would occur.
“The department was not ignorant of intelligence indicating an attack of the size and scale we encountered on the 6th. There was no such intelligence. Although we knew the likelihood for violence by extremists, no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol, nor did the intelligence received from the FBI or any other law enforcement partner indicate such a threat.”
Pittman assumed her role as acting chief of the department after former chief Steven Sund resigned following the January 6 attack on the Capitol. She said that the department was provided an assessment of the potential for events on the 6th.
Despite that, though, she said “the department was not prepared for the massive groups of violent insurrectionists that descended on the Capitol.”