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Right-wing extremists 'want to blow up the Capitol' during Biden address - police

Business Insider US
National Guard members staged on the U.S. Capitol Building grounds, as heightened security measures are in place nearly a week after the attack by a pro-Trump mob.
  • US Capitol police increased security measures following the January 6 insurrections.
  • The chief said the measures would remain over threats related to Biden's first address to Congress.
  • She said Jan. 6 extremists "want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible."
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The acting US Capitol Police chief told lawmakers Thursday that right-wing extremists "want to blow up the Capitol" when President Joe Biden first addresses a joint session of Congress.

"We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6th 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," Yogananda Pittman said during a hearing on security failures related to the Capitol attack.

The date of the State of the Union, Biden's first joint address to Congress, has not yet been set. 

"Based on that information, 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.

In response to lawmakers' questions about when the security wall and National Guard troops would be removed from the Capitol, Pittman cited the ongoing threats as the reason they have remained.

She also said intelligence reports have shown the insurrectionists who sieged the Capitol "weren't only interested in attacking members of Congress and officers" but "wanted to send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process."

US Capitol Police came under scrutiny following the January 6 attack, when a pro-Trump mob successfully breached the building, causing lawmakers to evacuate and leaving multiple people dead.

Multiple reports have said law enforcement was warned about the possibility of an attack, and Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund resigned following calls from lawmakers.

A total of 35 Capitol Police officers were investigated over the insurrection, and six were suspended without pay.


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