FBI Asks Public For Help Identifying Capitol Riot Suspects Seen Attacking Police
Updated March 18, 2021 at 2:34 PM ET
The FBI released a series of videos Thursday that show 10 people suspected of some of the most violent attacks on police officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and asked the public for help identifying the assailants.
In the videos, individuals in the mob of Trump supporters can be seen punching officers, beating them with what appear to be batons or baseball bats, and dousing them with chemical sprays.
"These individuals are seen on video committing egregious crimes against those who have devoted their lives to protecting the American people,"said Steven D'Antuono, the head of the FBI's Washington Field Office. He asked the public for any information that would help identify the suspects.
The appeal comes more than two months after the insurrectionists stormed the Capitol to try to disrupt Congress' certification of the Electoral College vote. Federal investigators have arrested and charged more than 300 so far, including at least 65 who are suspected of assaulting police.
"However, some of the most violent offenders have yet to be identified, including the 10 seen assaulting officers in the video footage we are releasing today," the FBI's Washington Field Office said in a statement.
Over the past two months, the public has played a critical role in helping identify the Capitol rioters. Court documents from many of the cases include references to family, friends, co-workers or acquaintances who have contacted the bureau with information about individuals seen on wanted posters or in videos and photos.
In one of the Jan. 6 videos the FBI posted Thursday, a rioter can be seen trying to rip the gas mask off an officer dressed in riot gear who is trying to block a door. In another, a man can be seen spraying what appears to be a chemical irritant at a line of officers. In a third, a man in a red MAGA hat swings a baseball bat at a line of officers protecting an entrance.
D'Antuono said the tips from the public so far have been a "tremendous help" in the FBI's investigation, and he appealed once again for assistance identifying the suspects in the videos.
The investigation into the Capitol riot is one of the largest in American history.
The defendants come from more than 40 states. Some of them have ties to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers.
The breadth and scope of the investigation is stunning, and investigators are dealing with mountains of evidence.
Prosecutors have gathered more than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body camera footage; some 1,600 electronic devices; more than 210,000 tips, many of which include digital photos or videos; more than 80,000 reports and 93,000 attachments related to interviews of suspects and witnesses.
The pace of new cases has slowed since the days immediately after the attack, but more people are being charged each week and prosecutors said last week that at least 100 more people could face charges in connection with the insurrection.
On Thursday, the Justice Department announced that Julian Khater and George Tanios have been indicted; the two men are accused of assaulting Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who later died.
Tanios and Khater, who had already been charged by criminal complaint, face 10 counts in all, including conspiracy to injure an officer and assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.
According to the indictment, Khater and Tanios planned and discussed using a chemical spray against police on Jan. 6 at the Capitol, and then Khater sprayed officers, including Sicknick, guarding the west terrace of the building.
Khater and Tanios are both in federal custody.
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