Department of Defense reviews National Guard request as law enforcement prepares for possible DC truck convoys

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“The department is analyzing a request for assistance from the United States Capitol Police and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency,” DoD spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. . “These agencies have requested National Guard personnel to provide support at traffic checkpoints in and around the District to assist the USCP and the DC government in addressing potential challenges resulting from possible disruptions on major circulation arteries.

Area law enforcement, including the Maryland State Police, the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Capitol Police, are closely monitoring the situation and, in some cases, are tightening security to deal with the possibility of major disruptions in the days leading up to and around President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

It is unclear whether any of the trucking convoys will materialize. One group said it planned to travel from Pennsylvania to the District of Columbia on Wednesday morning, arriving in the afternoon after a stopover in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, according to Bob Bolus, a trucker from Scranton, Pennsylvania. They hope to disrupt the freeways around DC and put a “stranglehold” on DC’s economy, Bolus said.

Another group said it planned to meet in Adelanto, Calif., starting Tuesday with a start Wednesday. “The People’s Convoy,” which has more than 140,000 Facebook followers, says attendees will then travel to Arizona before heading to Washington, DC.

Mike Landis, one of the Truckers’ organizers, said it would be a peaceful protest, but added: “If they’re ignored, you never know what might happen from there.”

The Department of Homeland Security “is following reports of a potential convoy that may plan to visit several US cities,” a spokesperson said Monday, noting that he had not seen specific calls. violence associated with this convoy.

But federal officials remain concerned about the potential for “significant public safety issues” around government buildings or other critical infrastructure and the possibility of extremist groups taking advantage of the situation, a U.S. law enforcement official said. order to CNN.

The State of the Union is a “Special National Security Event,” a designation that places the U.S. Secret Service as the lead agency responsible for security planning.

Online discussions about convoys started as a way for people to show their displeasure with Covid-19 vaccine mandates, but have ‘morphed’ to include discussions about the government shutdown and protesting the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, the federal law enforcement official said.
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There has been the involvement of online extremists, the official said. On Monday, for example, an accelerationist neo-Nazi Telegram channel posted a video encouraging violence against police in response to officers using force to deter protesters from the Canadian convoy, according to SITE Intelligence Group.

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