Police tighten security amid fears of fresh plot to breach US Capitol

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By Hebe Campbell  & Matthew Holroyd
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington.
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington.   -   Copyright  John Minchillo/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Police have ramped up security around the US Capitol after uncovering a "possible plot" to storm the building for a second time.

Far-right conspiracy theorists have claimed for weeks, without evidence, that former US President Donald Trump will be reinstated on March 4.

"We have obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4," Capitol Police said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We have already made significant security upgrades to include establishing a physical structure and increasing manpower to ensure the protection of Congress, the public, and our police officers."

The House of Representatives cancelled Thursday's session, although the Senate said it would continue to sit.

Many of the social media accounts supporting claims of Trump's return to power are followers of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory group.

QAnon believes a secret group of Satan-worshipping paedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and that Donald Trump acted as a warrior against them while in office.

While unfounded - and to many people, absurd - QAnon flags littered the crowd at the deadly storming of the Capitol on January 6.

Five people were killed after Trump supporters broke into the building, fuelled by unproven claims that the 2020 US presidential election was "fraudulent" and "stolen". Multiple election experts have found no evidence of widespread fraud in the US vote.

QAnon followers believed that Trump would not leave office on January 20, but instead would announce mass arrests of Democrats and stop Joe Biden from becoming President.

Online, far-right accounts began pushing new claims that Trump would be reinstated on March 4.

United States presidents were originally sworn into office on March 4 until 1933, when the date was then changed to January 20 to shorten the gap between elections and the start of new administrations.

Meanwhile, the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC has seen prices double for March 4, compared to normal expectations.

A number of individuals believed to be QAnon followers have been charged for their alleged involvement in the deadly insurrection on January 6.