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Bomb threat at US Supreme Court ahead of Biden inaugural

Building located next to Capitol not evacuated after grounds were checked out; Washington facing extraordinary security measures as Joe Biden is sworn in as president

A woman walks past protective fencing erected around the US Supreme Court, on January 10, 2021 in Washington, DC.   Al Drago/Getty Images/AFP
A woman walks past protective fencing erected around the US Supreme Court, on January 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Al Drago/Getty Images/AFP

WASHINGTON — A bomb threat was made to the US Supreme Court Wednesday ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as president, but nothing was found by security personnel, the court said.

“The court received a bomb threat, the building and grounds were checked out, and the building is not being evacuated,” said high court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg.

The court is located next to the US Capitol, where Biden, US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, former presidents and top officials were gathering for the presidential inauguration ceremony.

Washington has been on edge since the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, which has prompted extraordinary security measures ahead of Biden’s inauguration. A fire in a homeless camp roughly a mile from the Capitol complex prompted a lockdown Monday during a rehearsal for the inauguration.

US National Guard troops reinforce the security zone on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 19, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

US Secret Service tightened security in and around the Capitol days earlier than usual in preparation, and the city center is essentially on lockdown with streets blocked, high fencing installed and tens of thousands of troops and law enforcement officers stationed around the area.

Federal law enforcement officials have also been wary of increased surveillance of military and law enforcement checkpoints and other positions after National Guard troops reported people taking pictures and recording them, said the law enforcement officials, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing security matters.

The Secret Service issued a bulletin over the weekend about what it sees as an “uptick” in National Guard troops posting pictures and details of their operations online.

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