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Security forces guard against inauguration threats

A 12-day state of emergency begins in Washington on Wednesday as rumors and threats of insurrection swirl around President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in. U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Penn., told CNN on Tuesday he had heard in an official briefing of one plot by 4,000 people to surround the Capitol and not let Democrats through on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. The FBI says it is running down such threats across the country. On Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said it charged a 45-year-old Trump supporter with making a criminal threat. Prosecutors said the man, Louis Capriotti, left a voicemail for a member of Congress on Dec. 29 that said, “We will surround the [obscenity] White House and we will kill any [obscenity] Democrat that steps on the [obscenity] lawn.”

How is the capital beefing up security? At least 10,000 National Guard troops in uniform or plainclothes will be in place by Saturday. Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said the grounds of the Capitol will be closed to anyone who doesn’t have a ticket. Michael Plati, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service, said the presidential inauguration and its security procedures are coordinated between multiple agencies and planned for more than a year in advance.

Dig deeper: Read Emily Belz’s report on the role of fringe groups such as antifa and Q-Anon in last week’s Capitol riots.

Associated Press/Photo by Alan Fram
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Security forces guard against inauguration threats