The largest inaugural security operation in U.S. history was tested yesterday when a record Inauguration Day crowd streamed into Washington, D.C., before dawn, swamping the local transit system and overwhelming some security checkpoints, USA Today reports. Despite the crush of people, few major incidents were reported by the heavily armed police, Secret Service agents and National Guard units.
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty estimated the crowd at “roughly” 1.8 million. There were no inaugural-related threats in the weeks before the swearing-in. Yesterday, FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said they were investigating information of “uncertain” credibility that suggested a potential threat to disrupt the day. “Authorities at all levels are vigorously pursuing any lead relating to this threat information,” the FBI and DHS said. They described “an unprecedented level of security involving more than 58 federal, state and local agencies for this inauguration, and related events.” Above the Metro stations in and around Washington, spectators were welcomed to a city of concrete and steel barriers by a small army of security officers.