FBI Director Says Far-Right Riot on Capitol Hill Was ‘Domestic Terror’ | Crime News

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday accused supporters of former President Donald Trump who murderous attack of January 6 on the US Capitol for “domestic terrorism” and has pledged to hold them accountable as calls for increased action to tackle far-right violence mount.

“I was appalled that you, the elected leaders of our country, were victimized here, in these same halls,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“This siege was criminal behavior, outright. This is behavior that we, the FBI, consider to be domestic terrorism. “

It was Wray’s first testimony to Congress since the attack – a failed attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory in November – was led by supporters of President Trump who, in a speech by from the White House, urged them to walk. at the Capitol in protest.

“Everyone involved must take responsibility for their actions on this day, including our former president,” Republican Charles Grassley said.

“Now, in the aftermath of January 6, we must seriously consider the threats of domestic extremism.”

Observers and rights groups have noted that the growing discussions of labeling it as “national terrorism” could lead to legislation that would give federal authorities increased powers to monitor and criminalize dissent when the forces of the order have sufficient tools to carry out such investigations.

Deadly riot

The Ministry of Justice has indicted more than 300 people on counts ranging from conspiracy to attacking police and obstructing Congress. The riots left five dead.

Many defendants have espoused far-right views or are members of far-right groups.

At least 18 people associated with Far-right Proud Boys have been charged and nine people linked to the anti-government militia known as the Oath Keepers face charges that they conspired as early as November to storm Capitol Hill to prevent Biden from becoming president in favor of Trump.

“These people do not represent the people I know and love in the Trump movement,” Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary, told Fox News in excerpts from a Fox interview published Monday. .

McEnany said: “At the start of the day, before everyone went to the rally, everyone expected peace. We had been to hundreds of rallies – I’ve probably been to hundreds at this point, certainly dozens – and it was nothing but peaceful events, and we expected that on this day. be the same.

Numerous protests by pro-Trump far-right groups like the Proud Boys have turned violent during Trump’s tenure.

Proud Boys member Joe Biggs, second in the first row from left in a gray plaid shirt, poses with other members on January 6, 2021; he was later arrested for involvement in the storming of the US Capitol building [File: Jim Urquhart/Reuters]

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said the government had not done enough to protect itself against threats from “far-right extremists and white supremacists,” and accused the Trump administration of downplaying these threats.

He added that the Trump administration “never set up a task force to tackle the many incidents” of the far right, and instead focused on Black Lives Matter activists.

FBI has yet to arrest any suspects in the death of a Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, or for the homemade bombs discovered outside the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees.

The FBI has obtained a video showing a suspect spraying bear spray on police officers, including Sicknick, according to a police source close to the investigation.

The suspect has yet to be identified by name, and it is still unclear whether the bear spray contributed to Sicknick’s death.

In a newly unsealed search warrant, investigators say rioters carried weapons inside the Capitol, including irons, hammers, bear guns and, in at least one case, a handgun. fist with an extended magazine.

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