A Senate investigation into the US Capitol riots has uncovered a “number of intelligence and security failures” leading up to and on the day violence erupted.
On 6 January pro-Trump supporters broke into the Capitol building, vandalised and destroyed property and ransacked offices as Congress met to certify Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.
Seven people died, including three police officers, and dozens were arrested in the aftermath of the attack.
The 95-page report found intelligence officers, including the FBI, failed to issue any warning of potential attacks on the Capitol, leaving police officers unprepared to deal with rioters.
It said the police’s intelligence unit “knew about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol” including a plot to breach the building, online sharing of maps of the area’s tunnel systems and other specific threats.
Published by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Rules committees, it also said Capitol Police were compromised by multiple issues and its incident command system “broke down” during the insurrection.
The report said Chief of Police at the time, Steven Sund, believed officers would need support securing the area but did not order an operational plan ahead of time – which resulted in a lack of leadership during the riots.
“I was horrified that no deputy chief or above was on the radio or helping us,” one officer told the committee in an anonymous statement.
“For hours the screams on the radio were horrific, the sights were unimaginable and there was a complete loss of control.”
The report also noted the lack of “effective protective equipment” for officers.
The Capitol Police Labor Committee released a statement recounting some of the serious injuries seen, which said there were officers “who were not issued helmets prior to the attack who sustained brain injuries” as well as an officer with “two cracked ribs” and another who was “going to lose his eye”.
The Senate report recounted how the National Guard was delayed for hours due to a “lack of emergency authority” to obtain the necessary approvals for its assistance and the failure by Capitol Police to request its help before 6 January.
Deployed troops did not arrive until about 5:20pm – nearly three hours after they were requested – and by which time the House and Senate chambers had already been declared secure.
The committees have made several recommendations following the investigation including giving the Chief of Police the power to request National Guard help in an emergency, improvements to officers’ training, equipment, intelligence collection and operational planning.
The report also found:
• Capitol Police officers were not provided periodic training in basic civil disturbance tactics
• The police incident command system “broke down during the attack, leaving front line officers without key information or instructions as events unfolded”
• Capitol Police Board members in charge did not “fully understand” the requirements for asking for assistance from other agencies or declaring emergencies
• The Department of Defense’s response was “informed by criticism” of its “heavy-handed” response to the protests last summer that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis
Former United States secretary of state Henry Kissinger has died aged 100
Former United States secretary of state Henry Kissinger has died aged 100.
He passed away at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday, according to a statement from Kissinger Associates Inc.
The veteran politician had major influence on American foreign policy under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Born in Germany in 1923, Mr Kissinger fled the Nazi regime with his family as a teenager and settled in the US in 1938.
During eight years as a national security adviser and secretary of state, Dr Kissinger was involved in major foreign policy events including the first example of “shuttle diplomacy” seeking peace in the Middle East, secret negotiations with China to defrost relations between the burgeoning superpowers and the instigation of the Paris peace talks seeking an end to the Vietnam conflict.
In 1973 he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to negotiate an end to the Vietnam War.
However, Dr Kissinger, along with President Nixon, also bore the brunt of criticism from the US’s allies following the fall of Saigon to North Vietnamese forces in 1975 as the remaining US personnel fled what is now known as Ho Chi Minh City.
His influence over US diplomacy – which continued long after he left office – has not been without controversy, and some activists called for him to be prosecuted for war crimes.
He remained active in politics, even after his 100th birthday in May, attending meetings in the White House, publishing a book on leadership styles, and testifying before a Senate committee about the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.
In July 2023 he made a surprise visit to Beijing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
During his early life, after becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1943, Dr Kissinger joined the US Army the same year and was awarded a Bronze Star.
He would go on to serve with US counter intelligence in occupied Germany.
Dr Kissinger earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees at Harvard University, where he taught international relations for almost 20 years before President Nixon appointed him national security advisor in 1969.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, two children by his first marriage, David and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren.
According to the statement from Kissinger Associates: “He will be interred at a private family service. At a later date, there will be a memorial service in New York City.”
Senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid tribute to Dr Kissinger on X describing him as a “great one” and saying: “Fortunate indeed is America for his lifetime of diplomacy, wisdom, and love of freedom.”
Winston Lord, former US ambassador to China and Dr Kissinger’s one time special assistant said: “The world has lost a tireless advocate for peace.
“America has lost a towering champion for the national interest. I have lost a cherished friend and mentor.
“Henry blended the European sense of tragedy and the American immigrant’s sense of hope.”
Cindy McCain, the wife of late Senator John McCain said: “Henry Kissinger was ever present in my late husband’s life.
“While John was a POW and in the later years as a Senator & statesman.
“The McCain family will miss his wit, charm, and intelligence terribly.”
US military aircraft with six people on board crashes off Japanese island
At least one person has died after a US military aircraft crashed off the coast of a Japanese island.
Six crew members were on board the Osprey aircraft when it crashed on Wednesday.
The Japanese coastguard said one crew member had been found – and was later pronounced dead – along with grey-coloured debris believed to be from the aircraft.
They were found at sea around half a mile off the eastern coast of Yakushima.
The cause of the crash and the status of the other people on the aircraft were not immediately known.
Fishing boats in the area found three people in the surrounding waters, a representative of a local fisheries cooperative said. Their condition is unknown.
Another Osprey landed safely at the island’s airport on Wednesday, at around the time of the crash.
“The government will confirm information about the damage and place the highest priority on saving lives,” Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.
The Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but during flight can rotate its propellers forward and cruise much faster like an aeroplane.
US and Japanese officials said the aircraft belonged to Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo.
In Okinawa, where about half of the 50,000 American troops in Japan are based, Governor Denny Tamaki told reporters he will ask the US military to suspend all Osprey flights in Japan.
In August, a US Osprey crashed off the coast of northern Australia, killing three Marines and seriously injuring five others.
Another crash-landed in the ocean off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa in December 2016, prompting a temporary US military grounding of the aircraft.
It also comes after five US service members were killed after their aircraft suffered a “mishap” during a routine air refuelling mission in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Elon Musk accused of promoting ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy theory
Elon Musk has been accused of promoting a long-debunked conspiracy theory which alleged high-profile Democrats ran a paedophile abuse ring from a Washington pizza restaurant.
The billionaire posted and later deleted a meme referencing “Pizzagate” on X on Tuesday, NBC News reports.
It was an image from TV show The Office, with fake dialogue superimposed on to the scene to make it look like the characters were arguing about whether the conspiracy was real.
“Does seem at least a little suspicious,” Musk wrote.
His post was seen by NBC News – Sky’s US partner network – before it was taken down.
NBC News reports Musk has replied to X posts about Pizzagate at least four times since 20 November.
They feature unfounded insinuations that journalists were involved.
No evidence has ever been uncovered that a child trafficking ring was being run from the pizzeria, or that Democrat politicians were involved and journalists covered it up.
Musk is a regular critic of the media and purveyor of conspiracies, including that aliens built the pyramids.
Last year, shortly after buying the platform formerly known as Twitter, he posted a link to an article featuring an unfounded rumour about an attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
More recently, he has been accused of endorsing an antisemitic conspiracy theory. It led to major advertisers pulling promotions from X and criticism from Israeli politicians.
The SpaceX owner has since visited the country to be shown the scene of Hamas’s attack on 7 October.
Sky News has contacted X for comment.
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