FBI: Pipe Bombs at RNC, DNC Were Planted Night Before Jan. 6

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
January 29, 2021US News
FBI: Pipe Bombs at RNC, DNC Were Planted Night Before Jan. 6
Steven D'Antuono, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington field office, speaks during a news conference, in Washington, on Jan. 12, 2021. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON—Two pipe bombs left at the offices of the Republican and Democratic national committees, discovered just before the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, were actually placed the night before, federal officials said Friday.

The FBI said the investigation had revealed new information, including that the explosive devices were placed outside the two buildings between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 5. The devices were not located by law enforcement until the next day.

It is not clear if the pipe bombs were related to the Capitol incident. Both buildings are within a few blocks of the Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police and agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to the Republican National Committee’s office around 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 6. About 30 minutes later, as the agents and bomb technicians were still investigating at the RNC, another call came in for a second, similar explosive device found at the Democratic National Committee headquarters nearby.

NTD Photo
Protesters storm the Capitol building in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2020. (Ahmed Gaber/Reuters)
NTD Photo
Protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by Congress, in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

The two explosive devices were very similar, and both were about a foot long with end caps and wiring that appeared to be attached to a timer, two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter have told The Associated Press. Investigators are still examining the devices and their components to determine the specific compounds inside the pipe bombs, but they both appeared to contain an unknown powder and some metal, the officials said.

The officials could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The FBI released additional photos of the explosive devices on Friday, including a photograph that showed one of the devices placed underneath a bush. Officials have also increased the reward in the case to $100,000.

Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s office in Washington, said earlier this week that locating the person who planted the pipe bombs was a top priority for federal agents, though officials have only released grainy surveillance camera images of a potential suspect.

On Friday, the FBI said the person wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, a face mask, and Nike Air Max Speed Turf sneakers in yellow, black, and gray, and had been carrying a backpack.

By Michael Balsamo

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.