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FBI Increases Reward to Catch Person Who Planted Pipe Bombs Night Before Capitol Riot

The FBI has bumped up the reward again — to $100,000 — and released new photos in an attempt to find the pipe bomber who placed devices outside of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee before protests and a riot at the Capitol rocked Washington.

In an updated call for information, the FBI said that the devices were placed at 310 First Street SE and 430 South Capitol Street SE #3 between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m on Jan. 5, the night before the “Stop the Steal” rally and storming of the Capitol.

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(FBI photo)

The individual captured on surveillance footage has still not been identified. The person wore a face mask, a grey sweatshirt with the hoodie up, dark pants, dark gloves, and Nike Air Max Speed Turf shoes in black and gray with yellow accents, a colorway that was released by the athletic company in August 2018. The individual carried a backpack in his or her hand, and at another point on his or her back.

Surveillance video obtained from neighborhood residents and property owners by The Washington Post shows the suspect walking in the area of the RNC before and after the bomb was placed. The RNC is located on the next block south of the Cannon House Office Building, across from the Capitol South Metro station. The DNC is a five-minute walk southeast from the RNC.

The RNC device was discovered behind the building by a local resident at about 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 6. The second device was located outside of the DNC next to a bench half an hour later.

FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono told reporters Tuesday that since the Jan. 6 riot, the Bureau has received more than 200,000 digital media tips from the public.

“As part of this investigation, we are also continuing to try to identify and arrest the person or persons responsible for placing pipe bombs outside the offices of the Democratic and Republican National Committees,” D’Antuono said, adding of the FBI’s sum of investigations into violence surrounding the Jan. 6 attack, “This case is challenging. It is complex and it is big — both in size and scope. But at the FBI, we do big, and we do challenging, and we do complex.”

Acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said earlier this month that the pipe bombs “were real devices.”

“They had explosive ignitors. They had timers. We don’t know, obviously, exactly why they did not go off. That’s being investigated. They were destroyed, disabled by Capitol Police with the assistance of the ATF and that is all obviously being vetted and investigated,” Sherwin said.

“What was the purpose of those devices being planted? Was it a diversionary type of a tactic used by some of these rioters? Was it something — or did it have some other type of nefarious purpose?” he asked. “So, that is what the ATF, the FBI, MPD are looking at as we speak right now and looking for those persons that planted those devices.”

If you have any information concerning the pipe bombs or other Jan. 6 incidents, please contact the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), or submit tips online at tips.fbi.gov. You may also contact your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. Tips may remain anonymous.

‘How to Make a Bomb’ Was a Top 10 Google Search Term in September and October

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Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a speciality in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, anti-Semitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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