- There was enhanced security presence in Washington DC on March 4, only weeks after the Capitol riot.
- Intelligence reports had indicated far-right extremists were plotting violence and protests.
- QAnon conspiracy theorists believed that Donald Trump would be inaugurated on Thursday.
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Thousands of National Guard and Capitol Police patrolled the streets of Washington DC Thursday ahead of an anticipated insurrection by far-right supporters of Donald Trump that never materialized.
Earlier in the week, US law enforcment and security agencies warned they had received intelligence that a far-right group planned to breach the Capitol. The Capitol Police announced that it was taking steps to “enhance our security posture” on days including March 4.
March 4 was when some QAnon conspiracy theory supporters believed that Donald Trump would be inaugurated for a second term and his “deep state” enemies vanquished.
The anticipated threat placed Capitol security services on high alert, with the atmosphere still tense in the wake of the Capitol’s breach by Trump supporters on January 6.
In the wake of the riot, the Capitol has been encircled with a razor-wire fence. On Thursday National Guard deployed in DC patrolled its perimeter to deter further violence.
On Constitution Avenue, the main thoroughfare leading pat the Capitol, the National Guard set up checkpoints.
The usually bustling Capitol Hill was quiet, with lawmakers and their staff advised to stay away from the area for the day.
With paranoia rife in far-right forums ahead of March 4 and claims that the planned protests were a ruse by security services spreading, extremists and Trump supporters also decided to stay away. A masked man was questioned by the Secret Service near the White House.
National Guard patrolled the Capitol building itself. On steps of the Capitol, Rep. Al Green of Texas took a break as the heavily armed troops patrolled nearby.
In Congress’s halls, National Guard was stationed to ensure no breaches of the Capitol complex from any source.
The day passed without major incident. But with swaths of America’s far-right refusing to accept Biden as legitimate president and a hardcore of extremists determined to provoke a violent insurrection, it’s a threat security officials believe is unlikely to recede any time soon.