HOUSTON — The sights and sounds of democracy under attack as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building are seared into the minds of Americans across the country.
"One of the first things that comes to mind is how could this happen?" said Brian Lynch.
Lynch is a former FBI agent and now executive director for Safety and Security at RANE, a risk-intelligence company. He says Wednesday's attach highlighted major security lapses.
"When you look at the news video, there didn't appear to be enough resources, enough law enforcement officers on the ground to have the ability to control the protest," said Lynch.
That protest turned into a violent mob. A small number of officers were quickly overwhelmed.
"We didn't see that breach plan at least executed in a timely manner," said Lynch. "I think they had access to the building for quite some time."
Rioters made it into sensitive areas. Some were photographed in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Office. Another man sat in the very spot the vice president sat just minutes earlier in the Senate Chamber.
"We do not know who had access to those sensitive areas," said Lynch. "You also have to worry about placement of technical surveillance equipment The other thing you have to worry about is were there bugs placed, were foreign intelligence services involved?" said Lynch.
Lynch says U.S. Capitol Police are ultimately responsible for security on the grounds, but many agencies should have worked together weeks before the event to coordinate a plan. It's an intelligence failure. Lynch says this shouldn't have been a surprise.
"Anyway you look at it it's a failure, and it's critically important why that happened and to ensure it doesn't happen again," said Lynch.
Right now Lynch says all agencies, federal buildings, even cities need to ensure they have working security plans in place. Tensions remain incredibly high and Inauguration Day is less than two weeks away.
"I think we should be in a heightened state of alert and be mindful that this could happen again and we should be prepared," said Lynch.
An investigation is now underway, but for now Speaker Pelosi demanded the Chief of U.S. Capitol Police immediately resign.