Capitol security officials warned lawmakers that a group of violent extremists are plotting to surround the U.S. Capitol ahead of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s inauguration, a member of Congress told CNN Tuesday.
Rep. Conor Lamb, Pennsylvania Democrat, said lawmakers were briefed late Monday about a new series of threats.
“They were talking about 4,000 armed ‘patriots’ to surround the Capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in,” Mr. Lamb told CNN. “They have published rules of engagement, meaning when you shoot and when you don’t. So this is an organized group that has a plan.”
“They are committed to doing this because I think in their minds, you know, they are patriots and they’re talking about 1776 and so this is now a contest of wills,” he continued.
The briefing followed Monday’s FBI bulletin warning of “armed protests” being planned at all 50 state capitols and Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day.
Security has been stepped up in Washington following last week’s violent riot at the U.S Capitol where a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the building to prevent Congress from certifying the election. Citing “credible threats” against the popular landmark, the National Park Service has shut down the Washington Monument.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has urged civilians to avoid coming to the city to celebrate the inauguration.