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Police ask National Guard to stay at U.S. Capitol for 2 more months

Click to play video: 'FBI warning of possible threat against U.S. Capitol' FBI warning of possible threat against U.S. Capitol
Thousands of National Guard and Capitol Police members remain on high alert outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday amid concerns and a warning from the FBI that domestic groups have discussed taking control of the Capitol and removing Democratic lawmakers on or around March 4. There is also a belief by some QAnon followers that Donald Trump will be inaugurated as president on Thursday. Jackson Proskow has more details on the potential threat and what is being done in response – Mar 4, 2021

The Capitol Police have requested that members of the National Guard continue to provide security at the U.S. Capitol for another two months, The Associated Press has learned. Defence officials say the new proposal is being reviewed by the Pentagon.

The request underscores the continuing concerns about security and the potential for violence at the Capitol, two months after rioters breached the building in violence that left five people dead. And it comes as law enforcement was on high alert Thursday around the U.S. Capitol after intelligence uncovered a “possible plot” by a militia group to storm the building.

Read more: U.S. House cancels Thursday session after police uncover possible plot against Capitol

The potential plot is tied to the far-right conspiracy theory promoted by QAnon supporters that former U.S. President Donald Trump will rise again to power on March 4, the original presidential inauguration day.

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U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., said she learned that the request for a 60-day extension was made in the last 36 hours and that the Guard is now seeking volunteers from states around the country to fill the need.

Defence officials confirmed that the request is under review at the Pentagon and that the Guard has started checking states for availability of their troops, in an effort to be prepared if final Defence Department approval is given. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The more than 5,000 Guard members currently in Washington, D.C., are all slated to go home on March 12, ending the mission.

Click to play video: 'Pelosi downplays cancelling House session, says it wasn’t due to possible threat to Capitol' Pelosi downplays cancelling House session, says it wasn’t due to possible threat to Capitol
Pelosi downplays cancelling House session, says it wasn’t due to possible threat to Capitol – Mar 4, 2021

Slotkin said some members of Congress have been concerned about whether there is a solid plan to provide security for members and staff going forward.

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“We want to understand what the plan is,” she said. “None of us like looking at the fencing, the gates, the uniformed presence around the Capitol. We can’t depend on the National Guard for our security.”

She said there has to be a plan that provides the needed security for the buildings and personnel by the Capitol Police and local law enforcement. Slotkin said it was telling that House members hastened to complete major votes Wednesday so they wouldn’t have to be in the building where many fled violent rioters in January. Lawmakers, she said, “don’t feel totally secure” in the Capitol.

Read more: Police monitoring potential threats by militia group to attack U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol Police officials have also told congressional leaders the razor-wire topped fencing around the Capitol should remain in place for several more months.

Slotkin said, however, that she was going to her office to work on Thursday. “I’m not going to let these guys scare me away,” she said.

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