Nervous US will be looking for Capitol attack connections to political unrest

The heart of American government has been on edge since 6 January. This incident will serve to add to the jitters.

If, as reported, the perpetrator was armed with a knife, in a country where it is alarmingly easy to get hold of guns and ammunition, it does not appear to be a serious co-ordinated attempt to disrupt democracy.

The fact the man also chose Good Friday, when Congress is on recess, also suggests this was not a well-planned assault on government.

Rammed car outside capitol building
Image:The rammed car outside the Capitol building

But the attack on two US Capitol police officers and the sight of a massive police response at such a symbolic location will understandably make people nervous.

Members of the U.S. Capitol Police stand guard near the scene of a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Image:US Capitol Police stand guard near the scene
The Capitol building in Washington DC
Image:The Capitol building in Washington DC

We have seen incidents in the recent past of cars being driven at the security barriers at the Capitol. Generally these incidents are not related to terrorism or national security.

The motivation and aims of this latest perpetrator will now be the focus of an investigation that’s already begun. They will also want to ensure that no one else is involved in any conspiracy.

But Americans will be looking closely for any sign that this is connected to the political unrest that has gripped this country since November’s election.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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