Washington has turned into a virtual fortress ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Friday.
Around 900,000 people will flood Washington for the inauguration ceremony, which includes the swearing-in on the steps of the US Capitol and a parade to the White House along streets thronged with spectators.
More than 100 square blocks about 2.7 square miles will be closed to automobile traffic on Friday as federal, state and local authorities create a protective bubble around the swearing-in-ceremony, presidential festivities and opposition protests.
The final tab is reportedly more than$100 million.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said that around 28,000 in personnel from the US Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration, FBI, US Park Police, US Capitol Police, Coast Guard and local police from Washington and around the nation would be fanned out across the city to provide multiple layers of security.
Johnson said that despite the absence of a ‘specific, credible threat,’ the main focus will be on ‘individual acts of violent extremism and those who self-radicalize,’ as have been seen in recent attacks in France and Germany.
He explained that dump trucks and buses will be placed in strategic locations to block off large gatherings of pedestrians.
On Thursday afternnon, police responded to reports of a ‘suspicious package’ on 14th Street. An explosives technician was sent to investigate the claim and police cleared the scene shortly after.
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