US Secret Service is preparing ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration after a violent group stormed the Capitol.
Michael Plati, the agent leading the Secret Service’s effort, promised a “robust … presence” of law enforcement and the National Guard. This comes with a network of fencing and vehicle checkpoints to prevent potential security threats.
Plati considered last week’s violence as a “poignant reminder” of the results for any breakdown.
“We have a zero fail mission,” he noted. “We feel we are prepared to address the challenges presented by that day.”
According to Plati, last week’s incident has been considered in the overall security plan for the Biden inauguration, calling the events “lessons learned” for authorities.
The operation, known as a National Special Security Event, is led by the Secret Service. It will work with Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Park Police, U.S. Capitol Police, and the Pentagon. Hundreds of police officers from across the US will also be participating.
Biden inauguration threats
Plati did not mention specific threats to the inauguration. However, the FBI warned of armed protests on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, in Washington and in state capitals in the lead-up to the swearing-in of the new president, according to an official. The official added that the FBI’s guidance is based on intelligence taken from social media platforms where activists plan a new round of clashes.
Issues about the security mission were raised Monday by the resignation of acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
The DHS manages Secret Service operations. However, Wolf did not mention the Capitol riots in his resignation message to the organization.
According to Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, there will be 10,000 National Guard troops in Washington for the inauguration. They will handle logistics, security, and communication. An additional 5,000 Guard troops could be tapped if needed, he said.
About 200 officers from the New York Police Department will also be sent to Washington to assist Jan. 20, an NYPD official said Monday.
The inauguration is one of the most daunting tasks for law enforcement authorities.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20 January.
The request for a federal emergency declaration was made by Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday in the wake of the riots at the US Capitol on 6 January.
Mayor Bowser told Americans to not visit DC for the inauguration, stressing that “if I’m scared of anything, it’s for our democracy, because we have very extreme factions in our country that are armed and dangerous”.
“Our goals right now are to encourage Americans to participate virtually and to protect the District of Columbia from a repeat of the violent insurrection experienced at the Capitol and its grounds,” she said.
In her letter seeking the president’s approval, Bowser said: “Based on recent events and intelligence assessments, we must prepare for large groups of trained and armed extremists to come to Washington DC.”
The FBI is also monitoring reports of “various threats to harm” the president-elect, as well as vice president-elect Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the report states.