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U.S. media have highlighted police warnings that extremist groups want to attack the Capitol building in Washington again.
Quoted by CNN, Yogananda Pittman, the acting head of the U.S. Capitol security forces, said Thursday that extremist militias involved in the building's seizure on January 6 plan to blow it up and kill as many members as possible when President Joe Biden gives his first speech there.
The official said that the police officers in charge of guarding the building would maintain their highest level of security and alertness, at least until the president makes his speech before the legislators.
Pittman appeared Thursday before the House of Representatives to report on the security failures recorded during the certification of votes in Congress, confirming Biden as president when supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked and seized the legislative building.
According to a report by NBC television, Congress members insisted with Pittman on the need to tighten security measures, including maintaining the deployment of National Guard troops.
Biden is expected to make his first legislative address in a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives following the passage of the COVID-19 aid package.
New: Acting US Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman warns militias involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection want to “blow up the Capitol” and “kill as many members as possible” when Biden addresses Congress.
During her appearance, Pittman acknowledged law enforcement's inability to deal with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol incited by Trump.
In the session, lawmakers from both parties alleged that Capitol security forces were doing more to protect their jobs than to explain how they could better respond to a similar attack in the future.
According to The Hill, the hearing highlighted many of the same shortcomings previously revealed in a similar Senate session on Tuesday, where the former Capitol Police chief and the former House sergeant-at-arms couldn't even agree on whether or not the National Guard was asked for advance help.