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attack on the capitol

Capitol Police chief: Militia groups threatening to 'blow up the Capitol' during State of the Union

U.S. Capitol Police will maintain "enhanced and robust" security, as militia groups tied to the deadly Jan. 6 riot reportedly discussed a desire to "blow up the Capitol."

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman revealed these reported threats during a congressional hearing Thursday about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, in which she was asked about heightened security in the nation's capitol, including fencing and National Guard presence, per Politico.

"We know that members of the militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union," Pittman said.

Based on this, Pittman told lawmakers officials believe it's "prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture" until "vulnerabilities" are addressed. She said, however, that "we have no intention of keeping the National Guard soldiers or that fencing any longer" than needed. Pittman also noted that the "insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol" on Jan. 6, when Congress was meeting to certify the election results, hoped to "send a symbolic message to the nation as to who was in charge of that legislative process."

Politico reports that "while authorities are aware of future attacks being discussed by the militia groups that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, it's unclear how developed or serious the intelligence around those plans may be." No date for President Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress has been set.

Pittman previously apologized in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot for "our failings," and on Thursday, she told lawmakers that officials knew there was a "likelihood for violence by extremists," though she also said that "no credible threat indicated that tens of thousands would attack the U.S. Capitol."