Secret Service Prepping on All Fronts for Inauguration Day
With a crowd of 900,000 expected to assemble for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, the Secret Service is leaving nothing to chance as they prepare for the most demanding inauguration in history.
Secret Service Director, Joseph Clancy, said the threat environment for this inauguration and the preceding campaign is unlike any other in the past.
“I think people today are willing to do things they may not have been willing to do in the past,” Clancy said to WTOP.
He then recalled several instances “where people jumped over those bike racks or security zones into our buffer” during the campaign. In the past, Clancy said it was very rare for a person to do that.
In the grand scheme, however, people jumping barricades are low on their list of concerns, with lone wolf or terror organization attacks at the top.
“We know that this (Washington region) is a high-profile [terror] target. It’s been attacked in the past, historically,” said Paul Abbate, the FBI’s executive assistant director for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.
Addressing reporters Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson said they know of no specific credible threat directed at the inauguration, and highlighted the district’s preparations for the big day.
Although no specific threats were intercepted by U.S. intelligence, it’s the unknown that’s causing officials to lose sleep.
“Every night, I wake up and I wonder do we have some issue covered,” Clancy said.
Intelligence officials are also concerned about cyber threats affecting inauguration venues. Clancy said HVAC systems, alarms, cameras, and countless other electronic systems are under close watch by the Secret Service Critical Systems Protections directorate.
He told a congressional oversight committee March 17, 2016, that “the lines between physical and cyber security are increasingly blurred,” requiring the Secret Service to train for possible cyber-attacks on its protectees and high profile events, reports WTOP.
And then there is the Inaugural Parade Route. At 1.9 miles long, there are countless opportunities for security vulnerabilities. Knowing this, the Secret Service began preparations in July of 2016 and continues to prepare and patrol until the day of inauguration.
For those residing in D.C. or visiting for the weekend, expect mass street closures, crowded Metro conditions, and more. For the complete survival guide, visit Washington.org.
Posted in General News