Law enforcement and federal authorities in the Washington, DC, region are stepping up security efforts in anticipation of the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that the department is operating at a “heightened level of vigilance, because we are at a heightened level of threat” in general, but he added that DHS is not aware of any credible threats specifically related to the anniversary or Jan. 6.
“The threat of domestic violent extremists is a very great one,” he told reporters.
Meanwhile, United States Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger insisted on Tuesday that the department would be able to fend off another mob-like attack one year after rioters crashed through doors and windows, attacked police and threatened lawmakers.
The police department is tracking several events and is monitoring an event at the DC jail most closely, though he said there was no specific or credible threat.
Manger said the department is focused on the most important problems first, such as intelligence dissemination, operational planning and civil disturbance unit preparedness.
DHS is working across the department to ramp up, where appropriate, the operational posture, including deploying more people, operating a 24/7 intelligence watch capability, coordinating with fusion centers across the country to share information, according to a federal law enforcement official.
The United States Secret Service and Federal Protective Service also have deployment plans to use if needed, the official said.
DHS is coordinating with the FBI, the Metropolitan Police Department, Park Police, and Capitol Police to ensure that adequate personnel and physical security measures are in place, the official said, adding that they are tracking intelligence indicators to see if we can identify groups of people who may be traveling to the Washington region.
“Unlike before January 6, there is a well-coordinated and cohesive effort,” involving DHS, FBI, state and local law enforcement both in the national capital region and outside the region, the official said.