'Green Zone' in the heart of DC: Secret Service sets up lockdown perimeter days out from Biden's inauguration as 20,000 National Guard troops mobilize, razor wire is installed and the National Mall is shut down to fortify Washington

 Washington DC is in lockdown with a Baghdad-style 'Green Zone' perimeter set up days out from Joe Biden's inauguration as more than 20,000 armed National Guard troops are mobilized, razor wire is installed on fences and road blocks are put in place amid 'major security threats' in the capital. 

As security intensifies in Washington, the Secret Service, who is in charge of all inauguration security, has released its restricted access plan, which includes what the agency is calling a 'Green Zone' in the heart of DC. 

The term 'Green Zone' was the same name given to the heavily-fortified area in Baghdad during the Iraq War. Most of downtown DC is now off-limits to traffic and has already drawn comparisons to Baghdad's high-security zone.

In extraordinary scenes out of the capital, thousands of armed military members are patrolling the streets and anti-climb steel fences and road blocks continue to be installed in the wake of last week's deadly siege on the Capitol. 

The National Park Service said on Friday, at the request of the Secret Service, that it was immediately closing the National Mall and iconic landmarks in Washington through at least January 21 amid an unprecedented boost in security ahead of the inauguration. 

The Mall - which is normally packed with people every four years for presidential inaugurations - includes landmarks like the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and Washington Monument. 

As security intensifies in Washington, the Secret Service, who is in charge of all inauguration security, has released its restricted access plan, which includes what the agency is calling a 'Green Zone' in the heart of DC

As security intensifies in Washington, the Secret Service, who is in charge of all inauguration security, has released its restricted access plan, which includes what the agency is calling a 'Green Zone' in the heart of DC

In extraordinary scenes out of the capital, razor has been installed on anti-climb fences surrounding federal buildings in DC

In extraordinary scenes out of the capital, razor has been installed on anti-climb fences surrounding federal buildings in DC

Heavily armed members of the US National Guard guard the East Front of the US Capitol on Friday

Heavily armed members of the US National Guard guard the East Front of the US Capitol on Friday

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Friday

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Friday

The area around the White House has also been closed as has a key bridge over the Potomac River that connects Virginia to Washington, as well as East and West Potomac Parks including Hains Point, which are near the Mall. 

'We cannot allow a recurrence of the chaos and illegal activity that the United States and the world witnessed last week,' Matthew Miller, the head of the Secret Service's Washington field office, said on Friday.

It came as Biden's team postponed their Sunday inauguration rehearsal over security concerns. Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told CNN that Biden's team had decided to delay the rehearsal by one day due to 'some of the online chatter talks about Sunday the 17th.' 

National Guard troops and thousands of other law enforcement officers have been brought in to help fortify DC to protect the capital from any potential violence.  

The number of National Guard troops coming to DC to assist with security has so far grown to about 21,000, Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told Vice President Mike Pence at a briefing. 

Officials have said the number could grow as law enforcement agencies review the ongoing threats. The Guardsman has now been authorized to use lethal force to protect the Capitol.  

Washington's Mayor Muriel Bowser suggested to reporters on Friday that, due to the storming of the Capitol by groups of 'white extremists', heightened security measures in the district could remain in effect until well after Inauguration Day.

'We are going to go back to a new normal,' Bowser said. 'We certainly have to think about a new posture in the city. So while we are focused on January the 20th, we are also focused on January the 21st and every day thereafter in the nation's capital.'  

Some security experts are now saying it is possible the fortress of extra fencing that has been built around the Capitol may be permanent, McClatchy reports. 

In a joint security operation, the FBI, National Guard, US Marshals Service, local law enforcement and other federal agencies will now fall under the command of the Secret Service for inauguration preparations. 

The increased security measures are being implemented days earlier than scheduled as a direct result of the Capitol siege and the planned plots subsequently uncovered by authorities. 

Security officials have warned that armed extremist Trump supporters, possibly carrying explosives, pose a threat to Washington, as well as state capitals over the US, in the coming week after the Capitol siege. 

'We are seeing an extensive amount of concerning online chatter,' FBI Director Chris Wray told Vice President Mike Pence in a televised briefing. 

Police fence off US Capitol building after pro-Trump riots
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Thousands of armed military members patrolled the streets of DC on Friday as a green zone perimeter was established

Thousands of armed military members patrolled the streets of DC on Friday as a green zone perimeter was established

National Guard troops and thousands of other law enforcement officers have been brought in to help fortify DC to protect the capital from any potential violence

National Guard troops and thousands of other law enforcement officers have been brought in to help fortify DC to protect the capital from any potential violence

Thousands of armed military members are patrolling the streets and anti-climb steel fences and road blocks continue to be installed ahead of Biden's inauguration

Thousands of armed military members are patrolling the streets and anti-climb steel fences and road blocks continue to be installed ahead of Biden's inauguration 

Concrete road block, anti-climb fences and boarded up businesses were found all across downtown DC as of Friday

Concrete road block, anti-climb fences and boarded up businesses were found all across downtown DC as of Friday

Concrete road blocks were being put in place across DC on Friday in preparation for the inauguration

Concrete road blocks were being put in place across DC on Friday in preparation for the inauguration 

Security checkpoints were guarded on Friday across Washington DC

Security checkpoints were guarded on Friday across Washington DC

A security fence is installed on Pennsylvania Ave, which is the site of the inaugural parade route

A security fence is installed on Pennsylvania Ave, which is the site of the inaugural parade route

'We're concerned about the potential for violence at multiple protest rallies planned here in DC and state capitol buildings around the country in the days to come, that could bring armed individuals within close proximity to government buildings and officials.'

In steps not seen since after the September 11, 2001 national alerts, an internal FBI bulletin warned that an armed group planned to 'storm' government offices in all 50 states to protest Biden.

'The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,' the bulletin added. 

The FBI has already told police departments around the country to stay alert for extremist activity and pass on any intelligence. 

The potential threat was underscored earlier this week with the discovery that one of those arrested for taking part in the Capitol attack had the kind of weapons and ammunition one might use for an assassination. 

For the upcoming week, Washington officials have urged people to stay home rather than celebrate the inauguration.

Downtown hotels were closing their doors and Airbnb has canceled reservations in the days around the event.

Airlines were also tightening security with Delta announcing that legally armed travelers formerly allowed to check their guns at security would not even be allowed to do that on flights to Washington.

In several states, the National Guard were also called out to prepare extra security for January 16-20.

Washington State, Michigan and others said they were concerned about possible far-right violence. 

Armed National Guard soldiers are pictured above patrolling a street near the White House on Friday

Armed National Guard soldiers are pictured above patrolling a street near the White House on Friday

National Guard troops man an alleyway between apartment building near the the US Capitol building on Friday

National Guard troops man an alleyway between apartment building near the the US Capitol building on Friday

The National Park Service said on Friday, at the request of the Secret Service, that it was immediately closing the National Mall and iconic landmarks in Washington through at least January 21. Pictured above is the Washington Monument

The National Park Service said on Friday, at the request of the Secret Service, that it was immediately closing the National Mall and iconic landmarks in Washington through at least January 21. Pictured above is the Washington Monument

Pennsylvania Ave, which connects the Capitol and the White House, was deserted on Friday with the Green Zone perimeter already set up

Pennsylvania Ave, which connects the Capitol and the White House, was deserted on Friday with the Green Zone perimeter already set up

Members of the National Guard check the identification of drivers wishing to enter a closed road at a security checkpoint near the White House on Friday

Members of the National Guard check the identification of drivers wishing to enter a closed road at a security checkpoint near the White House on Friday

Members of the National Guard assist traffic in downtown Washington on Friday

Members of the National Guard assist traffic in downtown Washington on Friday

Workers board the windows of an office building in Washington DC on Friday as authorities warned of the potential for violence

Workers board the windows of an office building in Washington DC on Friday as authorities warned of the potential for violence

Volunteers take the places of Joe Biden and wife Jill in an inauguration rehearsal at the Capitol on Friday

Volunteers take the places of Joe Biden and wife Jill in an inauguration rehearsal at the Capitol on Friday

People are spotted arriving for an inauguration rehearsal at the Capitol on Friday

People are spotted arriving for an inauguration rehearsal at the Capitol on Friday

'Green Zone' in the heart of DC: Secret Service sets up lockdown perimeter days out from Biden's inauguration as 20,000 National Guard troops mobilize, razor wire is installed and the National Mall is shut down to fortify Washington 'Green Zone' in the heart of DC: Secret Service sets up lockdown perimeter days out from Biden's inauguration as 20,000 National Guard troops mobilize, razor wire is installed and the National Mall is shut down to fortify Washington Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:57 Rating: 5

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