A week after the US Capitol was stormed, the security measures in the parliament building have been massively strengthened. Thousands of National Guard soldiers were deployed around the headquarters of the US Congress on Wednesday. Usually the Capitol’s own police force is almost exclusively active there.
Until the inauguration of the new US President Joe Biden on Wednesday at the Capitol, up to 15,000 National Guard soldiers are to be deployed to support the rest of the security forces. According to media reports, the Federal Police FBI warned that there could be new violent protests around the swearing-in of the Democrat.
Numerous streets in the city center are closed, security forces have set up checkpoints. Mayor Muriel Bowser urged all citizens to avoid the city center until further notice and to only watch the inauguration on the screens. Bowser also renewed her call on Americans not to travel to Washington for the inauguration. The Secret Service, which also protects the president, has been responsible for coordinating all security forces around the inauguration since Wednesday.
The apartment broker Airbnb is also taking an extraordinary step due to the security concerns about the inauguration: The company said it would cancel all reservations in the Washington area in the week of the inauguration because of calls by the authorities not to come for the swearing-in. Guests and hosts would be compensated, it said.
A new security fence was erected around the Capitol at the end of last week, which is mainly guarded by the National Guard. Supporters of the outgoing President Donald Trump had violently entered the Capitol during a session of Congress on Wednesday last week – after an inciting speech by Trump. Five people were killed. (With material from the dpa)