US Capitol Police prepare for ‘possible’ attack on Congress
U.S. Capitol Police prepare for yet another assault on Congress Thursday after receiving a warning from intelligence services of a “possible” plot by a militia group just two months after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the complex.
The warning came as House leaders rescinded plans for a session on Thursday, postponing all previously scheduled votes until Wednesday night and freeing the floor from official affairs for the rest of the week.
The law enforcement agency – which has come under scrutiny for its inability to protect United States Capitol on January 6 – said he was “aware and prepared” of threats against members of Congress and the building on March 4.
“We have already made significant security improvements to include establishing a physical structure and increasing the workforce to ensure the protection of Congress, the public and our police,” said Police said in a statement, adding that they were working with state, local authorities and federal partners.
Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democratic congressman who chairs the subcommittee overseeing the U.S. Capitol Police, said he had been briefed on the potential security threat.
Ryan said the information indicated “additional interest in the Capitol. . . by a group of militiamen “from March 4 to 6, surrounding what some conspiracy theorists believe to be the” real day of the inauguration. “
“It is heartbreaking that the United States Capitol continues to be a target – not by foreign adversaries – but by our fellow Americans,” he added.
The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment on whether it was aware of credible threats against the Capitol.
The FBI, which wrote a memo in January warning of the threat to the Capitol building, said it did not comment on specific intelligence threats, but was “constantly gathering and sharing intelligence. »With law enforcement partners.
Hundreds of Trump supporters overwhelmed police at the U.S. Capitol to storm the Capitol building and disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory in January.
A series of congressional hearings into the security failures leading up to the Jan.6 attack – which left many lawmakers fearful for their lives – suggests critical intelligence was not part of the chain of command of Capitol Police or Washington DC Metropolitan Police.
The FBI and DHS recently warned of a rise in domestic extremism. In January, DHS released a report on terrorist threats in which it said there was an increased risk of attacks by “ideologically motivated violent extremists” on US soil following the inauguration of Biden.
Testifying before Congress on Tuesday, Christopher wray, Director of the FBI, said the number of cases of domestic extremists prosecuted by the office had increased “significantly” over the past year.
Wray confirmed to senators that some of the rioters involved in the Jan.6 siege were categorized as “militia”, and in some cases, “racially motivated violent extremists who advocate white superiority.”
Meanwhile, the commanding general of the DC National Guard said on Wednesday that the Pentagon had placed restrictions on him on the eve of the January riot, which prevented him from quickly sending forces to fight the violence. .