FBI still searching for alleged Jan. 6 pipe bomb suspect, offers half-million dollar reward for info from public

 January 7, 2024

On the evening before a political protest at the U.S. Capitol devolved into a violent riot on Jan. 6, 2021, it has been alleged that unexploded but "viable" pipe bombs were planted outside the entrances of the Washington D.C. headquarters of both the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.

The FBI announced this week that, three years later, it is still seeking to identify, apprehend, prosecute, and convict the unknown pipe bomber, ABC News reported.

And, the Bureau is seeking the public's assistance in doing so, as it has offered a $500,000 reward for any information that results in an arrest and conviction of the otherwise completely anonymous suspect who remains shrouded in mystery.

Asking for the public's help in identifying and apprehending pipe bomb suspect

On Wednesday, two days before the third anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the FBI's Washington Field Office issued a statement about the ongoing search for the unidentified "Capitol Hill pipe bomber" who was caught on surveillance camera while planting the alleged explosive devices on the night of Jan. 5, 2021.

The statement, released in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the D.C. Metro Police, requested assistance from the general public in identifying the unknown suspect and offered a $500,000 reward "for information leading to the individual’s arrest and conviction."

That statement noted that while the planted pipe bombs were never detonated, "the suspect walked along residential and commercial areas in Capitol Hill just blocks from the U.S. Capitol with viable pipe bombs that could have seriously injured or killed innocent bystanders. Moreover, the suspect may still pose a danger to the public or themselves."

FBI shares pictures and videos that may help public identify suspect

David Sundberg, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's field office in D.C., said in the press release, "Over the past three years, a dedicated team of FBI agents, analysts, data scientists, and law enforcement partners has worked thousands of hours conducting interviews, reviewing physical and digital evidence, and assessing tips from the public about who may have placed pipe bombs on Capitol Hill."

He provided a link to an FBI webpage that included still photos of the suspect lifted from surveillance camera footage, including images of the suspect's backpack, gray hooded sweatshirt, and shoes, as well as the pipe bombs that were rigged with wires and kitchen timers.

The site also featured multiple videos of the suspect and the route he is believed to have traveled as he walked through D.C. that night before and after placing the bombs near the DNC and RNC.

"We urge anyone who may have previously hesitated to come forward or who may not have realized they had important information to contact us and share anything relevant," Sundberg added. "A reward of up to $500,000 is still available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible for this dangerous attempt to harm our community."

Why were the bombs found by civilian passersby and not the police or Secret Service?

CBS News reported that the pipe bombs were said to have been discovered by passersby around 1 pm on Jan. 6, around the same time that the crowd of former President Donald Trump's supporters who were protesting in opposition to the congressional certification of President Joe Biden's electoral victory was beginning to push through barricades and clash with police outside the Capitol building.

The discoveries of the two unexploded devices outside the DNC and RNC headquarters prompted swift evacuations of the building, including of then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who was said to be at the DNC headquarters at the time.

That raises a rather pertinent but perplexingly unanswered question -- why was the DNC pipe bomb, supposedly spotted by a random passerby, not first found by U.S. Capitol Police or the U.S. Secret Service prior to Harris' arrival? Or, perhaps the question should be, did the capital's law enforcement agency and the federal government's premier protective service even conduct a thorough security sweep of the DNC premises ahead of the arrival of a high-level Secret Service "protectee?"

The answers to those particular questions are arguably just as important as the identity of the suspected pipe bomber, and the fact that all of that remains unknown -- or known but undisclosed to the public -- is both damning and disconcerting in terms of the public's continued faith in the FBI.

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