U.S. Capitol security essentially 'ignored threat to fly airplane into building'

There was a threat to crash an airplane into the U.S. Capitol before the Jan. 6 riot developed, and officials essentially ignored it.

That’s according to a new report from Just the News.

The federal government has investigated hundreds of people, demanding access to their phone and social media accounts and grilling them under oath, over that riot, because Democrats said it essentially was a threat to the entire future of the United States, a threat to “democracy.” Many who vandalized the building have been sent to jail.

While there was some damage, and undoubtedly some members of Congress and staff members feared for their safety, it essentially was a riot, with a few hundred people getting out of hand and breaking things.

One unarmed protester was shot at near point-blank range and killed by police that day.

The new report said the day before the riot, security officials in both the House and Senate got a warning of a possible “aviation terror threat.”

Instead, however, of making preparations for the possible event, they “shrugged off the concerns until congressional leadership found out from news media” later.

The U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night, April 28, 2021. (Video screenshot)
The U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night, April 28, 2021. (Video screenshot)

“Are you making any notification regarding the intel that I’m told is going public?” said Paul Irving, who then was House Sergeant at Arms, to Michael Stenger, the Senate’s protector.

Just the News reviewed text messages from the evening of Jan. 5, 2021.

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And Stenger’s response was, “I am under the impression that it has been deemed aspirational, to which Irving said, “Agree, all good.”

The report explained the two didn’t text against for nearly a week, even though shortly after the exchange, CBS News said congressional leaders had been told of a threat.

The instance is evidence of the “laissez-faire security apparatus inside Congress that would fail spectacularly on Jan. 6,” said a House GOP report on Capitol security.

Just the News reported, “Multiple investigations have determined that Capitol Police and congressional security officials had received extensive intelligence warning of violence on Jan. 6 and failed to create an adequate security plan, allowing worries from above about ‘optics’ to take precedence over deploying National Guard ahead of the riot or better fortifying the building.”

In fact, President Trump had offered additional National Guard troops to provide security that day, and congressional officials, including those in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, refused.

Multiple security officials at the Capitol quit after the riot, but questions remain about what could happen yet in the future.

Just the News’ analysis of the report said, “GOP Reps. Rodney Davis, Jim Banks, Jim Jordan, Troy Nehls and Kelly Armstrong said the uninspired reaction to the aviation threat on Jan. 5 and the pre-Jan. 6 intelligence warnings exposed not only a reactive security mindset but also bureaucratic gridlock that spread security decision-making across the House and Senate sergeants at arms, the Capitol Police chief, the Capitol Architect and a supervisory Capitol Police Board.”

The GOP report said, “The communications related to the aviation threat against the Capitol on January 5, 2021, show the ad hoc nature of the Board’s response to security events. Even if the various stakeholders had attempted to proceed more deliberately, they would have been stymied by a confusing web of authorities.”

Nehls told Just the News that the political and security leaders at the Capitol “failed” both the American people and the Capitol police department.

One of the solutions already being suggested is more congressional oversight of the security operations.

The actual news was that the FBI and FAA were looking into reports of a threat about flying an airplane into the Capitol. Police, when contacted by Democrat leadership, said the information was not being deemed “credible.”

That particular threat never materialized.

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