FBI raises reward to $500,000 for information on pipe bomb found near RNC and DNC headquarters


The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department are now offering $500,000 for information that could lead to arrests for planting pipe bombs near Republican and Democratic National Committee headquarters. Washington, D.C., the eve of the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot, the FBI announced Wednesday.

The announcement represents a substantial increase in the amount the government is willing to pay for information under investigation: $100,000 before Wednesday, up from the $50,000 the bureau initially offered after the riots.

The increased amount comes days before the second anniversary of the rebellion. Little information has been available on the investigation since the discovery of the pipe bombs, which were viable but never detonated.

“With the significant increase in rewards, we urge those who may have been hesitant to contact us before – or who may not have realized they had important information – to review the information on our website and come forward with any relevant information,” said David Sundberg said the assistant director in charge of the FBI field office in Washington, D.C., in a statement.

“Despite the unprecedented volume of data review involved in this case, the FBI and our partners continue to work tirelessly to bring the perpetrators of these dangerous attempted attacks to justice,” Sandberg added.

Investigators have “conducted approximately 1,000 interviews, visited more than 1,200 homes and businesses, collected more than 39,000 videos and evaluated nearly 500 leads regarding pipe bombs,” the statement said.

The bombs were discovered within minutes of around 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 6 when a group of angry supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the building after a nearby rally with the president, according to a report. The account was given to lawmakers and the FBI by the acting director of the U.S. Capitol in January.

According to the FBI, the individual planted two pipe bombs on Jan. 5, 2021 between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Security footage released by the FBI shows the person holding a backpack, wearing a mask, a gray hooded sweatshirt and black and light gray Nike Air Max Speed ​​Turf sneakers with a yellow logo.

In more footage released in September 2021, the FBI stated that “a review of the suspect’s behavior in the video and interviews with residents near Capitol Hill led the FBI to believe that the suspect was not from the area.”

CNN previously reported that the devices were attached to egg timers and filled with explosives. Officials from the ATF, FBI, U.S. Capitol Police and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department responded to the scene at the two offices, which are less than a quarter mile apart and just south of the Capitol A few blocks away, the bomb detonated the robot safely at the scene.

Attorney General Merrick Garland acknowledged Wednesday the approaching second anniversary of the Capitol riots, saying in a statement that the Justice Department’s work to prosecute those who attack democracy is “far from over.”

“Two years ago, the U.S. Capitol was attacked as lawmakers attempted to confirm the results of the presidential election,” Garland said. “The perpetrators attacked police officers, targeted and assaulted members of the media, and interfered with a fundamental element of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”

The U.S. Department of Justice released the latest figures from its sprawling criminal investigation, announcing that more than 950 defendants were arrested for alleged involvement in rioting, of which more than 284 were charged with battery and 99 were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious injury to an officer. bodily harm.

Of the nearly 1,000 defendants, 484 pleaded guilty and 40 defendants were convicted after trials in Washington, D.C., the department said. Only one of the 6 January defendants was acquitted of all charges related to the rioting.

Law enforcement officials are still looking for about 350 people the department believes were involved in the violence at the Capitol, including 250 people who allegedly attacked police officers.

Clarification: This headline and story have been updated to reflect that the FBI, ATF, and DC Police have increased their rewards.

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