The FBI is continuing with its efforts to build a conspiracy case in the wake of the Capitol riots.
Authorities have arrested more than 150 people for their alleged role in the siege according law enforcement.
But the investigation is about to shift gears and the next steps will see federal officials attempt to prosecute those who allegedly took part, as more information is gathered on the suspects and investigators attempt to determine whether a larger conspiracy case might be able to be pursued.
The FBI has hundreds of agents on the case looking at the Capitol attack. Pictured, Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, of Arizona, is one of those charged
Steven D’Antuono, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington field office said prosecutors already have charged more than 150 people with federal crimes
Acting U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., Michael Sherwin, said law enforcement will work out whether the Capitol riot was coordinated before January 6 and whether certain groups or individuals were also involved in planning.
‘We are going to reach a plateau in the very near future and it will involve looking at the more complicated conspiracy cases,’ Sherwin said.
Sherwin said investigators will look at ‘possible coordination among militia groups from different states that had a plan to travel here before the sixth to engage in criminal conduct.’
So far prosecutors have charged several alleged riot participants with conspiracy.
Violent protesters loyal to President Donald Trump, including Kevin Seefried, center, are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol
In three cases, they believe suspects acted in an ‘organized and practiced fashion’ with the suggestion of possibly gassing lawmakers and allegedly suggested potentially gassing lawmakers in the Capitol, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Steven D’Antuono, FBI Assistant Director in Charge had revealed the FBI has received more than 200,000 digital media tips from the public.
Though a combination of tips and research, 400 suspects allegedly involved with the riots have been identified and about 150 arrested.
In one video, more than a dozen men wearing assault force-type garb push up the Capitol steps in a line, cutting through the dense crowd toward the building’s doors.
In another, a woman in a pink hat gives directions via megaphone to others inside the building, telling them where to go.
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6. Authorities are sifting through more than 200,000 digital tips gathered from social media, the public, confidential informants, news and surveillance footage
And several men, including two who made it inside the Senate chamber, carried zip ties that could be used to restrain hostages.
Some officials said many of the pro-Trump protestors who broke into the offices of top legislators like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to know how to navigate the maze-like Capitol.
Groups of Trump supporters had toured the Capitol for ‘reconnaissance’ a day before the attack.
But analysts say much of the activity on January 6 was chaotic, disorganized and more typical of a spontaneous riot.
The FBI is looking at what was happening behind the scenes and whether there was any organization involved to suggest conspiracy
Matthew Feldman of the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right in Britain said that’s typical of political violence.
At the moment, with limited evidence on communications and other links, he said, ‘It is impossible to establish causality.’
‘Those people who made up the herd did not appear organized, but within them clearly there were people who were organized.’
At the same time, he noted that the crowd included members of the violent Three Percenters, Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, some who traveled to Washington from as far as Hawaii.
Their presence, the discovery of pipe bombs planted nearby, and the apparent threats to capture members of Congress or the vice president, were signs of ‘terror’ plotting, he said.
‘You had a riotous mob… and within that you had domestic terrorists’ who were ‘clearly planning something.’
Lawyers defending the suspects are using a common defense saying their clients took their instructions from former President Trump, who called on his supporters to flock to D.C. to protest Congress’s certification of President Biden’s election win.
Supporters of President Donald Trump scale the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The attack on the U.S. Capitol by an angry mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters shocked many Americans who thought such a violent assault by their fellow countrymen wasn’t possible