PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia Police are beefing up security at critical infrastructures throughout the city as they continue to monitor reports out of Washington, D.C. regarding threats against the U.S. Capitol complex. Philly police say there are no specific threats to the area but they are increasing security “out of an abundance of caution.”
The increased security comes as Capitol Police in Washington uncovered intelligence of a possible plot to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday.READ MORE: Mayor Kenney Provides Next Steps In Investigation Over Mishandling Of 1985 MOVE Victims' Remains
We continue to monitor reports out of Washington DC regarding possible threats against the US Capitol Complex. While there are no specific threats to our area, out of an abundance of caution, we have increased patrols around critical infrastructure throughout the city.
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) March 4, 2021
“I feel really assured that between the Capitol Police and the National Guard, that they are providing the necessary security,” Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Dwight Evans said.
CBS3 spoke to Evans from his office in the Capitol building. He says he feels safe, despite new intelligence released by Capitol Police indicating another breach may be coming tomorrow.
“The Capitol Police have assured us that they are paying attention, doing their due diligence to all aspects of security around the Capitol,” Evans said.
The new threat comes nearly two months after the Capitol was breached while Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory. The Associated Press reports the threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that former President Trump will rise again to power on March 4 and that thousands will come to Washington, D.C., to try to remove Democrats from office. March 4 was the original presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to Jan. 20.READ MORE: Police Searching For Shooter After Man Gunned Down While Driving In Trenton
Online chatter identified by authorities included discussions among members of the Three Percenters, an anti-government militia group, concerning possible plots against the Capitol on Thursday, according to two law enforcement officials who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Members of the Three Percenters were among the extremists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The threat came as the Capitol police and other law enforcement agencies were taking heat from Congress in contentious hearings this week on their poor handling of the Jan. 6 riot. Police were ill-prepared for the mass of Trump supporters in tactical gear, some armed, and it took hours for National Guard reinforcements to come. By then, rioters had broken and smashed their way into the building and roamed the halls for hours, stalling Congress’ certification effort temporarily and sending lawmakers into hiding.
The reason why March 4 was chosen is because that was when presidents were inaugurated up until 1933, when it was moved to Jan. 4.
The Capitol Police did not give specifics on a possible attack and didn’t name a group. National Guard troops have been in Washington since early January, after the breach.
At first, they were there to secure Biden’s inauguration and then they were kept there to assist Capitol Police.
“We are ready and eager to work in partnership with leaders in Congress on any recommendations that are made to ensure their safety and security and to prevent the events that happened on Jan. 6 from ever happening again,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Evans says, instead of worrying about this, lawmakers should be working on moving forward.
“We need to focus on the people, what is most important for them,” Evans said. “We’re having a difficult time. We got to bring this country back better, but it’s only going to do if we work together.”MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Police: Man Stabbed Multiple Times At Detention Center In Holmesburg
The Associated Press contributed to this report.