Security forces on alert in Washington over possible militia plot to breach Congress

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Security has been ramped up at the US Capitol in response to “a possible plot to breach” the building on Thursday, Capitol police say.

The move was prompted by intelligence about threats made by a militia group, a statement said.

The force said it was “prepared for any potential threats towards members of Congress”.

The House of Representatives scrapped Thursday’s session after the threat was revealed.

However the Senate, which also convenes in the Capitol, plans to go ahead with a debate on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion (£1.36 trillion) Covid-19 relief bill.

“Our Department is working with our local, state, and federal partners to stop any threats to the Capitol,” the US Capitol Police said in a statement. “We are taking the intelligence seriously.

“Due to the sensitive nature of this information, we cannot provide additional details at this time.”

The threat comes two months after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building in January while elected lawmakers were inside moving to certify Joe Biden’s election victory.

The riot saw five people including a police officer killed and shook the foundations of American democracy. The head of the Capitol police force later resigned.

Meanwhile, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a flagship election reform bill on Wednesday that would update voting procedures and require states to turn over the task of redrawing congressional districts to independent commissions.

The bill passed by a mostly bipartisan vote of 220 to 210.

The legislation, numbered “H.R. 1” for the importance Democrats attach to it, “is designed to restore the voices of Americans who felt left out and locked out for too long,” its original sponsor, Representative John Sarbanes, said in remarks outside the U.S. Capitol before the vote.

The bill is one of many the House Democrats are voting on early in the Congress on a number of priorities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, policing and the environment.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has said he would sign the bill into law if it cleared both the House and the Senate.

Main Photo: Members of the National Guard stand at the East Front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA. Capitol Police said they have received intelligence that shows a possible plot by a militia group to breach the Capitol on 04 March. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Read more via BBC/ The Washington Post

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