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US Democrats briefed on 'chilling' security threats ahead of Biden inauguration

Threats include another storming of US Capitol Building by '4,000 armed patriots'
Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building last week.
Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed US Capitol Building last week (AFP)
By in
Washington

US Capitol security officials have warned Democrat members of the House of Representatives of multiple plots by supporters of President Trump to try and storm the Capitol ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, several US news outlets reported on Tuesday.

A source told the Hill that during a call late on Monday, lawmakers were made aware of four specific armed threats against the Capitol, the White House, and Supreme Court.

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Congressman Conor Lamb said during an interview with CNN on Tuesday that one of the plots involved the use of "4,000 armed 'patriots' to surround the Capitol and prevent any Democrat from going in".

"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," he said.

"We are not negotiating with or reasoning with these people. They have to be prosecuted. They have to be stopped. And unfortunately, that includes the president, which is why he needs to be impeached and removed from office."

The New York Times reported that one of the plots involved seeking revenge for the death of Ashli Babbitt, the protester who was shot dead by a Capitol Police officer last week.

'The most chilling hour imaginable'

The threats come less than a week after hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building while Congress was convening to approve the results of the presidential election.

As Trump's supporters amassed outside the US Capitol, an angry mob broke away and forced their way into the building - reaching as far as the House floor - in their attempt to stop lawmakers from certifying that Joe Biden won.

The call left lawmakers unnerved, after already being shaken from last week's storming of the Capitol.

"It was horrifying, the most chilling hour imaginable, but I don't want to say anything more," one House Democrat said during the call, according to The Hill.

"If you weren't afraid when you got on the call, you were afraid when you got off," another person said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called a meeting on Tuesday of congressional leaders, the new House sergeant-at-arms and the acting Capitol Police chief in light of continued threats to the Capitol and lawmakers, a source told the news site.

At least 15,000 National Guard troops will be stationed in Washington on 20 January for Inauguration Day, with 43 states and territories providing support.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday demanded that the individuals responsible for last week's event be placed on a no-fly list to stop them from a repeat of the violence.

The Senate is expected to be given a security brief on Tuesday afternoon.