Pittman said intelligence sources, likely inside the FBI, first became aware of the recent threats on encrypted internet forums.
The scope and seriousness of the current threat remains unclear.
»MORE: FBI tracks riot suspects through private messages on Facebook
Since last month’s siege, fencing, razor wire and National Guard units were deployed and are likely to remain as a deterrent to any future attacks and until security failures that happened during the riot have been fully addressed, Pittman said. During the hearing, several congress members pressed Pittman on the removal of the fortress-like measures, which GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington said “makes the seat of democracy look like a military base,” according to Politico.
»MORE: FBI raises reward for Capitol pipe bomb suspect to $75,000
Pittman, who replaced Steven Sund upon his resignation as chief following the assault, also attempted to clarify the timeline of the riot, including when Sund first called the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms to report a problem, which remains in dispute.
As the rioters breached security, Sund said he requested backup six times but that each time he was denied.
Sund’s bosses, on the other hand, said additional law enforcement support was available but that no one at the Capitol requested it, as is usual protocol.
Lawmakers are continuing to try to make sense of discrepancies and numerous communication breakdowns that inadvertently allowed supporters of then-President Donald Trump to storm the building, leaving a police officer and four others dead. They are also looking into why it took several hours for the National Guard troops to respond to the siege.
Senators have requested additional phone records to get to the bottom of what happened, Politico reported.
The White House has not yet set a date for Biden’s State of the Union, however, reports say the president will delay the address before a joint session of Congress until after the passage of his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.