The FBI is zeroing in on suspects who carried zip ties when they stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and whether they planned to kidnap or otherwise harm federal lawmakers, or grab hostages, The Washington Post reported.
Several rioters inside the Capitol were captured in photos or on tape with the plastic ties, which are used as handcuffs.
“We’re not looking at this as a grand conspiracy, but we are interested in learning what people would do with things like zip ties,” a law enforcement official told the Post.
The Capitol was ransacked after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building, leaving five people dead, including a police officer. But even larger destruction may have been planned. An Alabama man was arrested after 11 Molotov cocktails were found in his truck “ready to go,” investigators announced, and pipe bombs were discovered outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.
Discussions of future armed protests, including during Inauguration Day, are emerging online.
Some of the images of rioters in military camouflage carrying zip ties are chillingly similar to the garb of armed militia members who have been charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) last year.
Ari Weil, deputy research director for the University of Chicago’s Militant Propaganda Analysis team, told USA Today that the zip ties seen at the Capitol evoke the Michigan plot, and indicate a desire to “conduct vigilante justice against members of Congress.”
One man seen in footage in camouflage with zip ties was identified as a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Texas. He said he found the ties on the ground in the Capitol, The New Yorker reported.
Check out the entire Washington Post story here.