Politics

Local expert explains new threat to the Capitol, Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Capitol Hill is on high alert amid new threats of a potential attack on the Capitol complex, and one local former FBI special agent is explaining the risk management for the country and the state of Indiana.

Doug Kouns is now the CEO of Verasity IIR, an intelligence, investigation and research firm based in Carmel. He says it’s hard to believe anything major will happen at the Capitol complex but at the same time warns caution.

“I think you should always be concerned about the threat of something like this. I don’t think you should overreact but don’t underreact either,” he said. “Understand what the threats could be and prepare for them, and if they don’t happen then so be it.”

The concern is centered on Thursday March 4th, the original presidential inauguration day before a change in 1933. Several sources report online conspiracy theories connected to QAnon and far right extremist groups that former president Donald Trump will rise to power with a forceful take-over of the Capitol. Law enforcement officials say they’re “taking the intelligence seriously.”

The House of Representatives has canceled its session Thursday in response. Passersby may notice increased manpower and large fences around the Capitol complex. Kouns says officers are also working with surveillance, canvassing informants and suspects, and persuading known leaders to call off any extremists within the extremist groups. He also imagines those action items are happening in Indianapolis as well.

“Anything that can happen in D.C. can happen here as well. You’ve got local chapters of all these extremist groups in almost any major city and they could decide to march down and stir up trouble,” Kouns said.

Thursday morning the marks the end of an important 24 hours preventing any violence, and the start of an important 24 hours to stop anything from happening.

“You don’t want to run the risk of letting something unfold so you can catch them because then somebody could get hurt.”

Security measures taken at the Indiana Statehouse aren’t made public, according to Indiana State Police Sergeant John Perrine. He did say “part of our security plan is to constantly communicate with our local, county, state and federal law enforcement partners to stay apprised on current events or specific threats,” and that “if need be we can quickly adjust our security measures to ensure public safety at the Indiana Statehouse and other state properties.”

MORE STORIES