The pipe bombs were found only 17 hours later, just before the United States Capitol was stormed by supporters of Donald Trump. The investigation quickly became a priority for the United States Federal Police (the FBI) and the country’s Justice Department.
But the trail quickly evaporated. A year later, federal investigators still do not know the identity of the suspect. And a fundamental question remains unanswered: was there a link between the bombs and the riot on the Capitol?
This suspect is among the hundreds of people still wanted by theFBI since the deadly insurgency of January 2021. So far, some 250 people filmed assaulting police officers on Capitol Hill have yet to be identified or arrested by the police. FBI, and about 100 others remain wanted for riot-related crimes.
In contrast, more than 700 people have been charged with federal crimes for acts committed on January 6, and arrests continue to be made on a regular basis.
But for the agents of theFBI assigned to this survey, the task is not complete. Police, analysts and investigators go through thousands of hours of footage captured by surveillance cameras, second to second trying to get clear images of the individuals who attacked the agents inside the Capitol.
” The investigation takes time because there is a lot of work, it is meticulous work, to study the videos frame by frame. “
The body camera of a police officer thus filmed a man who uses an electric cane to give shocks to the agents who try to prevent the rioters from entering the Capitol. You can hear the crackle of electricity when it hits one of the officers. The suspect
AFO114 an abbreviation of
assaulting a federal officer or assault on a federal agent, is still sought.
Police assaults are very serious crimes, said Mr. D’Antuono. More than 100 police officers were assaulted by rioters on January 6, some of whom were attacked by multiple people and on multiple occasions.
Another video shows a man repeatedly hitting a policeman in the head with a two-meter metal bar as he attempts to enter the Capitol. A third video shows a man spraying police officers’ faces with some chemical.
” There is still a lot of work to do […]. There were a lot of people on Capitol Hill, and several of those who acted violently also committed other crimes. “
To the shoes of the suspect who lays the bombs
Only to successfully identify the individual who planted bombs near Republican and Democratic offices, police interviewed more than 900 people, collected some 39,000 video files and followed more than 400 leads. They examined the components of the bombs, analyzed the suspect’s gait and even analyzed the sales of the particular Nike shoes he wore.
But even after all of these efforts, investigators still don’t know who it was. They are now hoping that renewed attention to the video will give them the lead they need to unlock this case.
The bombs were placed in front of the two buildings between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on January 5, 2021, but they were not found by law enforcement officials until the next day. They were then neutralized and no one was injured.
Images made public by theFBI show a suspect wearing a gray hoodie, mask and gloves who appears to be hiding a bomb under a bench outside the Democratic National Committee. The same individual is then seen in an alley near the Republican National Committee, where a bomb was also planted.
The suspect is wearing shoes Nike Air Max Speed Turf black and light gray, with a yellow logo.
We are using all investigative methods available to us to find this individual, said Mr. D’Antuono. But a year later, investigators still do not know if it is a man or a woman. The suspect carried the bombs – which had been made with metal pipes, a kitchen timer and homemade black powder – in a backpack.
The headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committees are a few blocks from the Capitol, but police are unsure whether the bombs are connected to the insurgency.
And the fact that the suspect was camouflaged from head to toe obviously complicates life for investigators.
In normal times, for example without COVID, someone walking the streets [de Washington] fully covered, with a mask, goggles and gloves would have caught our attention, said Mr. D’Antuono.