WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Washington locks in for the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden, Delta Air Lines on Thursday imposed new restrictions on passengers in the US capital.
Hotels, airlines and other businesses increased security as officials planned to deploy at least 20,000 National Guard troops to the city. Activist groups, concerned over the possibility of violence, asked the hotels to close this weekend before the incident.
Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said on Thursday that Delta would not allow passengers visiting airports in the Washington area to test firearms in their flights before the inauguration.
“We are in Washington on high alert based on the events that have been going on for the past few weeks,” Bastian told CNBC. He said Reuters had placed its airline on a no-fly list to involve passengers in disruptive incidents, for example, targeting Republican US Senator Mitt Romney.
The US Capitol storms were followed last week by supporters of President Donald Trump and by disturbances on flights and at airports. Authorities have warned of plans for armed protests in Washington and all 50 states.
Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, was expected to speak Thursday at a briefing on inauguration security. This will be his first public appearance since the January 6 attack.
In Washington, the perimeter of a high fence around the Capitol was pushed out to include the US Supreme Court and the Library of Congress.
Surrounding roads were closed, with some businesses saying they would be closed next week, and the city’s public transportation agency said it was closing some metro stations and rerouting bus lines from Friday to January 21 having had.
The National Park Service said that it was yet to decide whether to close the National Mall running from the Capitol to Lincoln Memorial. The park service closed the Washington Monument for tourism and Mayor Muriel Bower asked visitors to stay away from the city.
Law enforcement officials have warned of potential violence beyond the US capital. In Ohio, Governor Mike Dwain said Thursday that state offices and state office buildings located downtown downtown Columbus would remain closed from Sunday to Wednesday.
Mary McCord, head of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, led by former President Barack Obama, warned that the threat could remain well beyond the inauguration.
“You will see a resurgence of activity and planning and threats from extremists. So I don’t think this problem is going away with this president leaving the White House.
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to impeach Trump on charges of impeachment, as his supporters created a ruckus against the Capitol, leaving five dead, after a speech by the Republican president reiterating his false claim that Biden , A Democrat, defeated him due to widespread fraud.
Federal authorities have arrested dozens of people as part of their investigation into the Capitol attack. A congressional official said the Senate Intelligence Committee would investigate the intelligence of law enforcement agencies before the attack after Democrats took control of the Senate.
More than 30 House Democrats, including lawmaker Mickey Sherrill, have asked the Acting House and Acting Chief of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and the Capitol Police about visitor logs, videos and other information that were in the building that day.
Sheryl, who has accused Republicans of inciting the Trump supporter crowd, said she attacked key groups of visiting co-workers on January 6 before visiting the Capitol.
Reporting by Donna Chiaku, Susan Heave, David Shepherdson, David Lauder, Mark Hosenball, Andy Sullivan in Washington, Barbara Goldberg in New York and Tracy Rukinski in Chicago; Writing by Makini Bryce; Editing by Heather Timmons and Howard Goller