Law enforcement in Washington, D.C., is on high alert after a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. CBS News has learned that some of the rioters involved in Wednesday’s attack have remained in the area and law enforcement are concerned they may be planning more attacks in the city and on federal buildings.
Police and the FBI are searching airports and hotels across the city for the rioters who ransacked the Capitol. More than 50 people have already been charged with crimes related to the violence.
On social media, there has been chatter about making the next target the inauguration. A white supremacist Telegram channel posted a reminder that Inauguration Day is January 20: “That is the next date on the calendar that the Pro-Trump and other nationalist crowds will potentially converge on the Capitol again.”
D.C. police on Thursdayof some of the rioters they are seeking to charge with the violence at the Capitol, which included breaking windows, destroying congressional offices and fighting police inside and outside the building. They had, what appeared to be, free rein of the Capitol — even Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, where one protester left a message that said, “We will not back down.”
To avoid a repeat of the chaos and destruction, Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said the Capitol will be fortified by fencing. There are now thousands of National Guard troops deploying into D.C. to help secure the city.
Tom Warrick, a former Department of Homeland Security counterterrorism official, said the Capitol riot was a textbook definition of domestic terror. “An assault on the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the federal election by the counting of the electoral ballots really is an act of domestic terrorism and really needs to be condemned as such by everyone,” Warrick said.
Capitol Police are being hammered for what members of Congress have called a total failure and are calling for an investigation into what went wrong. At the height of the attack, Capitol Police say they were also responding to two different reports of pipe bombs. Their manpower was stretched thin. Sixty officers were injured.
Veteran FBI agent Tom O’Connor said more manpower was needed from the start. “I don’t care who you are, you are in fear for your own life because, in all reality, anything could have happened from that crowd. Anything, a pipe, a gun, anything,” O’Connor said.