Pipe bombs found near Capitol on Jan. 6 are believed to have been placed the night before
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The two pipe bombs that were discovered on Jan. 6 near the U.S. Capitol shortly before a mob stormed the building are believed to have been
planted the night before, according to a law enforcement official
familiar with the investigation and video footage obtained by The
The explosive devices, which were placed blocks from one another at the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic national committees, have
been largely overshadowed by the violent attempted insurrection at the Capitol. But finding the person suspected of planting both bombs
remains a priority for federal authorities, who last week boosted the
reward for tips leading to the person’s arrest from $50,000 to $75,000.
Do you have any tips on the suspect wanted in connection to the pipe
bombs placed at the RNC and DNC?
The FBI said its agents are “using every tool in our toolbox” and have interviewed more than 1,000 residents and business owners in the
neighborhood where the devices were found. On Friday morning, the FBI
released additional information that confirmed The Post’s reporting
about the timing of the placement of the bombs and raised the reward
offered to $100,000.
The Post spoke to residents, property managers and business owners to
obtain exclusive video of the suspect in the moments before the
individual allegedly placed the bomb in an alley behind the Republican National Committee, one block from the Capitol grounds.
On Jan. 5 at 8:13 p.m., a security camera captured the suspect carrying
a backpack, according to a resident who reviewed the footage and
provided a copy to the FBI. The suspect was walking eastbound on C
Street SE, headed toward an entrance to an alley that curved toward the Republican National Committee building. The Post did not obtain that
footage but confirmed the homeowner’s account with a law enforcement
official familiar with the investigation.
Seconds later, in video obtained by The Post, the suspect can be seen
in the alley, known as Rumsey Court. The individual is wearing a
light-colored sweatshirt and carrying the backpack near their waist,
matching photographs that have been released by the FBI, and walking
west past a row of homes. The suspect is believed to be walking toward
the area behind the Republican National Committee building and the
Capitol Hill Club to place the explosive device, according to the
official familiar with the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
Another video shows the suspect carrying a backpack near their waist as
they approach the area where the bomb was discovered on Jan. 6. They
appear to be wearing a mask and gloves. According to the law
enforcement official, this is the last known sighting of the suspect
before the placement of the bomb.
When federal officials asked the public for information about the
suspect, they circulated still images drawn from this video. For
unknown reasons, the suspect did not immediately leave the area.
Another video obtained by The Post shows the suspect retracing their
steps on Rumsey Court at 8:16 p.m., again walking westbound toward the
RNC building. The individual is moving at a brisk pace and still
carrying a backpack near their waist.
One minute later, the suspect is seen walking eastbound on Rumsey Court
— away from the area where the pipe bomb was discovered. They are
wearing the backpack on their back.
The same person is suspected of placing the bomb at the Democratic
National Committee building, according to the FBI. It is not clear
which bomb was placed first. On Friday, the FBI released an image of
one of the devices. The bureau described the suspect as wearing Nike
Air Max Speed Turf shoes in yellow, black and gray and said that the
person is believed to have placed both bombs between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
on Jan. 5.
Barry Black, a retired FBI special agent bomb technician, said photos
of the devices suggested that they were simple and that the visible
components were common and easily found. Black said the devices
appeared to incorporate mechanical timers as switches and said he saw
no indication in the photos of any other triggering mechanism.
Black said the individual could have been seeking to kill or injure, or
could have simply wanted to “send a message” by targeting the nation’s
two largest political parties. Steven Sund, who resigned as chief of
the Capitol Police in the wake of the riot, has said he suspects the
bombs were an intentional effort to draw officers away from the grounds
of the Capitol.
The bomb behind the RNC was discovered on Jan. 6 at around 12:45 p.m.,
about 90 minutes before rioters entered the Capitol. Resident Karlin
Younger was on her way to do laundry when she spotted something unusual
on the ground between a recycling bin and a rat trap. Younger said in
an interview that she bent down to inspect the device, which was
attached to what appeared to her to be a kitchen timer. The timer was
set to 20 minutes, she said. She did not hear any ticking and could not
tell if the timer was active. She alerted a nearby security guard, who
she said inspected the device and then notified law enforcement.
The device was considered “live,” meaning it contained viable explosive material, according to Steven Blando, a spokesman for the Washington
Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. It was
disarmed at the site, Blando told The Post.
Around 1:15 p.m., officials have said, the second bomb was discovered
several blocks away next to a bench outside the DNC. It, too, was live
and was disarmed on site, Blando said.
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