U.S. Capitol Police put the Capitol Complex on lockdown Monday morning, citing an “external security threat” nearby. Law enforcement have remained on high alert in the vicinity of the Capitol after rioters broke into the building after a pro-Trump rally on January 6, with chatter suggesting another attack around Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
“Due to an external security threat under the bridge on I-295 at First and F Streets SE, staff and other personnel are directed to avoid coming to the Capitol Complex area until further notice,” Capitol Police advised in a statement around 10:30 a.m. Eastern.
“All personnel currently on the Capitol Complex are advised to stay indoors and away from windows and doors,” the police added.
CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju reported that an alert went off in the Capitol building as Capitol Police ordered the lockdown.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Update 11:05 a.m.:
The D.C. Fire Department appears to have explained the source of the threat.
“Things seem to be OK at the Capitol,” Raju tweeted. “DC Fire’s Vito Maggiolo says the incident involved a small fire involving tent that is now out. DC fire was dispatched at 10:14 and the fire was put out. He said the response was ‘very minimal’ and it was ‘pretty much a non-incident.'”
Capitol Police do not appear to have lifted the lockdown, however.
Update 11:32 a.m.:
The Capitol returned to normal operation. The non-threat was indeed a fire.
— Saqib Ul Islam (@SaqibIslam) January 18, 2021
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.