Uniformed National Guard soldiers are now patrolling the U.S. Capitol building, just days after Donald Trump supporters rioted and stormed the national monument. According to the Military Times, troops from Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and Virginia have joined National Guard soldiers from D.C. in guarding the home of Congress. In addition to the influx of troops, the Capitol is also now surrounded by a black fence standing seven-feet in height.
Punchbowl News journalist Jake Sherman commented on the presence of the troops, tweeting, "You see lots of people in the capitol. Police officers, political aides, maintenance workers, carpenters, electricians. We’ve [now] been joined by uniformed soldiers." The Military Times reports that over 6,000 National Guard troops have been brought in to help guard the Capitol and surrounding areas, since the violent riot carried out on Wednesday, by a pro-Trump mob who object to the certified results of the presidential election. "I never thought I would see this in my own country," one of the troopers said, while speaking to the Military Times. The outlet went on to note that this sentiment was expressed by a number of troops, who also expressed that they believe passionately in their duty to protect not only the Capitol but also the entire city of Washington D.C.
Our new reality here in the capitol. pic.twitter.com/4Fu0YxKNtH— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 11, 2021
The failed siege upon the capitol by pro-Trump rioters, some of whom were reported by Capitol police to have been armed with weapons, has led to a lot of burning questions. One of the most common inquiries is: Why was the Capitol security not better prepared for the possibility that the election protest could become a riot? Photos from the insurrection showed participants with zip ties, which could indicate a pre-meditated plan to storm the building and take lawmakers hostage.
Some experts — including Rita Katz, executive director of SITE Intelligence Group — have said that the riot could have been predicted. "Given the very clear and explicit warning signs — with Trump supporters expressing prior intent to 'storm and occupy Congress' and use 'handcuffs and zip ties,' clear plans being laid out on public forums, and the recent precedent of the plot to storm the Michigan Capitol building while the legislature was in session — it is truly mind-boggling that the police were not better prepared," Katz said in a statement, per the Washington Post. At this time, law enforcement agencies from across the nation are working together to apprehend any and all participants in illegal actions that took place at the Capitol on Wednesday.