Washington’s Capitol Guard asked the National Guard to extend protection for two months. The application is examined by the Pentagon. The US Congress is guarded by over 5,000 National Guard soldiers.
For nearly two months, Congress has been surrounded by a fence and guarded by the National Guard with long arms. Such precautionary measures were adopted after the storming of the Capitol on January 6, during which five people were killed.
The stationing of National Guard troops near the US parliament is scheduled to end on March 12. However, the Capitol Guard asked that these units stay in the capital for 60 days longer. The application is examined by the Pentagon.
Voting canceled, “possible conspiracy”
The reason is security issues. Capitol Guard said they had information about a “possible plot” to attack Congress on Thursday. This is possibly related to the QAnon conspiracy theory; part of the movement maintains that former US President Donald Trump will be re-sworn in to office that day.
Fears of possible unrest prompted the Democrats in control of the House of Representatives to cancel the votes scheduled earlier for Thursday. When asked about extending the stay of the National Guard, the chairman of the chamber, Nancy Pelosi, announced that additional protection should be provided for as long as the services deem it necessary.
The Capitol is currently guarded by more than 5,000 guards, but as early as January during President Joe Biden’s inauguration, there were over 25,000 on the streets of Washington.
As forces continue to remain in the capital, Republicans are increasingly skeptical as they question the existence of intelligence to justify enhanced security measures.
Main photo source: MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPE / PAP