CIA Deployed Bomb Technicians To Capitol Area On Jan. 6, New Records Show

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Mar 14, 2024 - 09:00 PM

Authored by Joseph Hannemann via The Epoch Times,

The Central Intelligence Agency deployed two bomb technicians to assist with a pipe bomb found at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 and there were “several CIA dog teams on standby,” according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.

References to CIA involvement on Jan. 6 were included in text messages obtained from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under a U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Judicial Watch filed in 2023 against the U.S. Department of Justice.

“These striking records show that CIA resources were deployed in reaction to the January 6 disturbance,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a March 13 news release.

Among the 88 pages of heavily redacted records obtained by Judicial Watch is a group of text messages labeled “Jan. 7 Intel Chain” that includes two references to CIA assets in use or on standby on Jan. 6, 2021.

“FC I has two CIA bomb techs with us—EEO [redacted] in route,” one text read. Just prior, what appeared to be a text from the ATF said, “Our assets: SRT in Capitol with Group I, Groups II and III assisting with pipe-bomb scene on New Jersey and D St. SE.”

The CIA bomb techs are referenced in a text later that afternoon as “helping Capitol Police bomb squad clear Capitol.”

Another text refers to the availability of K9 units to assist in clearing buildings. “7 NGA dog teams, 2 ATF and several CIA dog teams on standby,” the text said.

The disclosures are the first documented references to the CIA having any involvement in response to the protests, chaos and later rioting at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Two pipe bombs were discovered near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6: one in an alley between the Capitol Hill Club and the Republican National Committee building, and the other in the bushes on the southwest side of the DNC building. Despite a three-year federal investigation and an offer of $500,000 in reward money, no arrests have been made.

The names of most of the participants in the group text are redacted in the records turned over to Judicial Watch. One name on the text chain is Ashan M. Benedict, the ATF’s incident commander in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 who in December 2023 became assistant chief of U.S. Capitol Police.

Bomb Confusion

According to the updates sent on the text chain, there was a lot of confusion over the pipe bombs and if they were the only explosive devices found by police.

Sometime after 1:21 p.m., someone texted: “Just made contact with [redacted]. FBI is reporting an additional 3 possible devices for a total of 5 now.”

A followup message stated that one of the devices was “at the gates of the Power Plant” at 25 E St. Southeast. The Power Plant report turned out to be unfounded.

Another update read: “Sorry info is evolving. 2 devices at RNC and DNC.” A short time later, another text said, “Train traffic is stopped.”

It’s not clear what time that text was sent, but according to Capitol Police security video reviewed by The Epoch Times, trains continued to run to and from Union Station on tracks just behind the DNC building, even after the DNC bomb was discovered at 1:05 p.m.

A Virginia Railway Express train rumbles west past the Democratic National Committee during the pipe bomb incident on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Capitol Police/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

At 1:20 p.m., a regional commuter train traveling west with 13 passenger cars ambled past. An Amtrak train traveling east pulling seven passenger cars passed the DNC at 1:22 p.m.

The text messages suggested there was some question about whether the pipe bombs were a genuine threat. “What was the final in the devices?” one text asked. “Real or not?”

Some of the confusion on the number of devices was likely caused by a red GMC pickup truck found stocked with firearms, ammunition, machetes and Molotov cocktails that was parked across the street from the Capitol Hill Club, where the first pipe bomb was discovered at 12:43 p.m.

The owner of the truck, Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Falkville, Alabama, parked the vehicle at about 9:15 a.m. and walked to the Ellipse to hear former President Donald J. Trump speak. Afterward, he returned for his truck to find the area blocked off by police due to the pipe bomb, according to court records.

Police doing a sweep of the area near Mr. Coffman’s truck noticed a firearm on the truck’s front seat. During a search of the vehicle, police found a 9mm handgun, an M4 rifle, a shotgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, high-capacity magazines, a crossbow with bolts, machetes, camouflage smoke devices, and a stun gun.

In the pickup’s covered bed, police found a cooler containing 11 Mason jars filled with gasoline and melted polystyrene foam. When ignited, the liquid would have a similar effect to napalm, according to federal agents.

Lonnie Leroy Coffman's GMC Sierra pickup truck was stocked with firearms, ammunition, machetes, and Molotov cocktails on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Department of Justice/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Holes were punched in the lids, and the holes were plugged with golf tees. The truck also contained cloth rags and lighters for making and lighting Molotov cocktails, court records state.

Mr. Coffman was arrested and in April 2022 sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for possession of the incendiary devices and cache of weapons. He was released from the Bureau of Prisons on Oct. 2, 2023, records show.

The records from Judicial Watch raise more questions about how widespread the federal law enforcement presence was at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Tactical teams from the FBI, Homeland Security, ATF, Metropolitan Police, and Capitol Police were in the Capitol to help clear the building of protesters after 3 p.m., security video and records show.

Tactical teams from the ATF, FBI, and other agencies clear the U.S. Capitol of protesters at 3 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Capitol Police/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

The rest of the texts obtained by Judicial Watch include updates on the deteriorating conditions at the U.S. Capitol.

“LEOs being attacked on the west side of Capitol with pieces of restraining fence. Some officers injured,” one text read. “USCP is sending out a mutual aid request,” stated another. “MPD has declared this no longer a demonstration but now a RIOT at the Capitol.”

As House and Senate leaders were evacuated from the Capitol, the texts indicated they and other senators and House members were being taken to the Fort McNair Army base in southwest Washington.

“Capitol has been transferred to Fort McNair. It’s an alternate location so they can continue their work. …Buses are coming to transfer them.”

Another series of texts is related to the 2:44 p.m. shooting of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, 35, by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd.

“Capitol PD shot someone on house floor,” one text read. “Dead.”

“Shots fired house floor.”

“Per Capitol Police that’s not confirms.”

“Shots fired in the lobby of the house floor.”

“1 civilian down with a gun shot wound to the chest on the 2nd floor.”

“Gunshot victim has been extracted.” “Shooting was officer involved.”

Those texts might have, in part, been transcriptions of the Capitol Police radio transmissions, according to audio obtained by The Epoch Times. There was an initial false report of shots fired on the floor of the House Chamber just before 2:43 p.m.

Ms. Babbitt was shot just after 2:44 p.m. as she attempted to climb into a broken-out glass side panel at the entrance to the House Speaker’s Lobby.

After Ms. Babbitt was shot and lay supine on the floor, Mr. Byrd made a false radio report claiming that he was taking fire from outside the Speaker’s Lobby, according to a $30 million lawsuit filed against the federal government by Ms. Babbitt’s widower, Aaron Babbitt.

“405-B. We got shots fired in the lobby. We got fot (sic), shots fired in the lobby of the House chamber,” Mr. Byrd broadcast. “Shots are being fired at us, and we’re prepared to fire back at them. We have guns drawn. [Unintelligible.] Don’t leave that end! Don’t leave that end!”

According to dispatch audio, Mr. Byrd never corrected his statements, and no one broadcast an update to indicate that the shooting was officer-involved.