Washington (AFP) – Law enforcement officials worried about possible violence at a rally in the nation’s capital next week plan to re-erect a protective fence that surrounded the US Capitol for months after the January 6 mutiny, according to a person familiar with the Guardian. discussions.
Although no specific measures were announced, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during her weekly press conference on Wednesday hinted at additional safety precautions for the September 18 rally by saying, “We intend to keep the Capitol safe.” And briefings for lawmakers, including congressional leaders, are expected in the coming days.
The person, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, said the security plan being finalized calls for a fenced perimeter on the streets immediately surrounding the Capitol and Supreme Court buildings, though not around the nearby congressional office buildings. Official announcement.
Capitol Police have formally requested fencing to the board that oversees it, and it is likely to be approved, according to a House Democratic aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak of private discussions.
Police continue to track Intelligence points to far-right groups Like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers they plan to attend a rally next week, which aims to demand “justice” for hundreds of people who have been charged in connection with the January rebellion. However, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio said he did not expect his membership to attend.
Meanwhile, the FBI released new information Wednesday in hopes of catching the person suspected of leaving two tube bombs on Capitol Hill the night before the riots, one of the enduring unsolved mysteries of that chaotic week.
The potential presence of extremist groups at next week’s event is troubling because while members and associates of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys make up a fraction of the nearly 600 people charged so far in the riots, they face some of the most serious charges.
Those accusations include allegations that they conspired to prevent Biden’s victory from being certified. Several oath guards have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and are cooperating with investigators in the case against fellow extremists, who authorities say have come to Washington ready for violence and willing to do whatever it takes to stop the Electoral College vote’s certification.
The fence was a glaring symbol of fear for many Felt at the Capitol after a mob made their way past stacked police officers, breached windows and doors and ransacked the Capitol as Congress voted to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The planned September 18 gathering comes at a time when Washington has seen a series of one-off troubling incidents — including, most recently, a man who parked a pickup truck near the Library of Congress and said he was in possession of a bomb and detonator.
Perhaps most disturbing: a string of unexploded pipe bombs placed near the Capitol on January 5 remain unexplained and no suspects have been charged.
The FBI released a new video of this suspect on Wednesday and a digital map showing the person circling around the offices of the Democratic and Republican National Committees, where the bombs were placed. The FBI also said, for the first time, that agents believed the suspect was not from the Washington area but may have been “operating” from a location near the Capitol.
“Based on the suspect’s travel path to the DNC and from the DNC to the RNC, and the way the suspect carries his backpack after placing the pipe bomb in the DNC, the FBI believes the suspect had a location near the FBI,” the FBI said in a statement. Journalist “Folger Park the person was working from.” Reviews of the suspect’s behavior in video footage and interviews with residents on Capitol Hill have led to the belief that the suspect is not from the area.”
Some lawmakers and top union officials are expected to be briefed on the fence plan later this week, and another extended briefing for House and Senate leaders is scheduled for Monday.
On Capitol Hill, the dueling policies in the iconic building and its foundations proved a challenge to lawmakers after the January Rebellion. Many said they don’t like closing access, even as they acknowledge the increased level of security it provides. Finally the fence fell with a promise to rebuild it if necessary. But the question of what is worth a duel is difficult.
In an interview Wednesday, District Democratic Representative Dale Elinor Holmes Norton said she has not yet been briefed on the security plans, but she understands whether the fence should be reinstalled as a precaution before the upcoming rally.
“I hope we don’t have to fence the Capitol every time there’s a demonstration,” Norton said. But, she added, “If they go with the fence, I won’t criticize them.”
Norton suggested that in the aftermath of January 6 there will be more robust security preparations ahead of this gathering due to an abundance of caution – although it is scheduled for Saturday before the House returns to session, a usually quiet summer day. Legislators or employees will be at work.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see the fence go up,” she said. “The preparations will certainly be more than they were on January 6th.”
Associated Press writers Colin Long, Numan Merchant, and Marie Claire Galonic contributed to this report.