Remember those pipe bombs found outside the RNC and the DNC last week? The FBI released a photo of the suspect last Thursday but so far no one has been identified or arrested. And that apparently has DC law enforcement thinking the bomber could try again. Politico reports the thousands of National Guardsmen currently protecting the Capitol have been warned to be on the lookout for additional IEDs.
National Guard units are being told to prepare for the possibility that improvised explosive devices will be used by individuals plotting to attack the Capitol in the days surrounding the Inauguration, according to two Guardsmen briefed this week.
The briefings indicate that Washington, D.C.-area law enforcement believe the IEDs planted last week at the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee headquarters were not an isolated incident. The individual who planted those bombs has yet to be apprehended, and FBI agents have been going door to door in D.C. this week asking residents for any photos or video they might have that could help identify the suspect, two of the residents told POLITICO.
The Guardsmen are also being told to be aware that protesters or groups who show up prior to the inauguration could be armed. Because of that possibility, the Army Secretary has decided Guardsmen themselves will be armed:
National Guard troops who are flooding into Washington to secure the Capitol for Inauguration Day will be armed, the Army secretary, Ryan McCarthy, has decided, Defense Department officials said Tuesday.
The armed troops will be responsible for security around the Capitol building complex, the officials said…
Mr. McCarthy’s decision came after a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California. Ms. Pelosi, according to congressional staff members, demanded that the Pentagon take a more muscular posture after a mob, egged on by President Trump last week, breached the Capitol.
National Guard troops spent last night sleeping on the hard marble floors of the Capitol:
You’ve seen the pictures, but the extent to which the Capitol — and some of the office buildings — are a makeshift barracks now is truly something. I’ve easily seen more than a thousand national guard on my normal walk thru campus. pic.twitter.com/szBT0fWMBE
— Karoun Demirjian (@karoun) January 13, 2021
Some video here:
Members of the National Guard were seen sleeping on the floors of the Capitol before the House of Representatives gathered to consider impeaching President Trump for his role in last week’s siege of the building https://t.co/Qm0ZYDT3x5 pic.twitter.com/kANILsmOOz
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 13, 2021
As you can see in most of these photos, they are armed with rifles:
These are National Guard members in the Capitol on Wednesday, as the House is poised to impeach President Trump for a second time.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 13, 2021
Hundreds of National Guard troops nap inside the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center as the House prepares to debate on an article of impeachment against President Trump.
📷 J. Scott Applewhite / AP pic.twitter.com/EnsR9waonj
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 13, 2021
This seems like overkill but I guess some kind of overreaction was inevitable after what happened last week. In any case, the only people who are going to try to break in again this week are those with a death wish.