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Domestic terrorism not taken seriously enough, says DC Mayor

Mayor Muriel Bowser has told NBC’s Meet The Press that domestic terrorism was not taken seriously enough in the past and a different approach is now needed.

Following the assault on the US Capitol by pro-Trump rioters on 6 January, it has been reported that heavily increased security measures have been rolled out across downtown Washington, DC ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Bowser, the mayor of the District of Columbia, said that while restrictions on the inauguration were long-expected given the coronavirus pandemic, the heightened security presence was justified by the events of 6 January. However, she has also raised concern over softer targets in parts of the city, and the wider threat across the country.

Concerning the strong security conditions around the National Mall and the seats of the three branches of government, Bowser said that this represented the ‘federal enclave of Washington, DC, not where the 700,000 of us live’, before telling host Chuck Todd that it is long past time that the US address how seriously the country takes the threat of domestic white extremism.

She said: “What we saw here last week is that we didn’t take it seriously enough. We never believed that so-called patriots would attempt to overthrow their government and kill police officers, but that’s exactly what happened. I do think we have to take another posture in our city that is more domestic terrorist focussed than external to our country, and act accordingly.”

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