Extra security measures should remain in place at the US Capitol amid renewed threats by right-wing militia groups, the acting chief of the Capitol Police said.
Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman was speaking on Thursday at a congressional hearing into the storming of the Capitol in Washington DC by supporters of then-President Donald Trump on January 6.
Five people were killed in the riot, including a Capitol police officer.
The Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the US federal government.
Militia groups want to ‘blow up’ the Capitol
“Members of militia groups that were present on January 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union,” Pittman told members of the House Appropriations Committee.
“We think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward,” she said.
Security at the Capitol
Unprecedented security measures were imposed in Washington following the deadly January 6 assault.
These include razor wire-topped fences and checkpoints manned by the National Guard.
Around 5,000 troops are expected to stay through mid-March.
A date has not been announced for Biden to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress, which typically happens early in the year.
Capitol attackers hoped to send ‘symbolic message’
“We know that the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol weren’t only interesting in attacking members of Congress and officers,” Pittman told lawmakers at Thursday’s hearing.
“They wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process,” she added.
More than 200 people have been charged so far for their roles in the riot. Some have ties to far-right fringe groups such as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.
By DW News