Capitol Hill security tightened in wake of London attack
Capitol Hill police will search buses, tour vans and larger vehicles traveling on the roads leading to the Capitol as part of heightened security in response to the terror attacks in London Thursday, according to a police spokesman.
Police also increased security patrols around area, spokesman Michael Lauer said.
Anyone visiting the Capitol grounds will be subject to a "cursory visual inspection," and bags and backpacks could be searched if it is "deemed appropriate," Lauer said.
At least 33 are dead and scores wounded after a series of four coordinated bombings in London's transport system Thursday, British police said. U.S. law enforcement sources say the British government has told them the death toll is at least 40. (Related story.)
A group, the "Secret Organization group of al Qaeda Organization in Europe," claimed responsibility in a Web site posting. The authenticity of the claim could not immediately be verified.
Congress is out of session this week for the Independence Day recess. The House and Senate are scheduled to convene again next week.
An e-mail distributed to lawmakers from the U.S. Capitol Police Command Center stated there is no "specific threat to the National Capital Region in general, or the Capitol complex in particular."
"However, the Capitol Police have taken several proactive measures increasing the security posture of the complex while the situation is further evaluated," the e-mail stated. "Additional information will be provided when available."
The e-mail noted that congressional officials are in contact with other U.S. government officials about the London bombings.