Washington monitoring Canada shootings - KMOV.com

Washington monitoring Canada shootings

(CNN) -- Washington—one of the world’s most secure cities—is reacting cautiously to the shootings inside Canada’s Parliament building.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the situation in Ottawa but the White House has said nothing publicly about the shootings.

At the U.S. Capitol, which was the site of a deadly shooting in 1998, police are “monitoring and tracking” developments in Canada. But as of now, they haven’t modified their regular “post 9-11 heightened state of alertness,” according to U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kim Schneider.

Congress is on recess until next month’s elections, though the Capitol remains busy with tourists, staff and other workers.

The Canadian embassy in Washington, located a few blocks from the Capitol along Pennsylvania Avenue, is on lockdown, according to a message posted on Twitter.

The FBI is asking all field offices to raise their alert posture and reminding them of a recent bulletin urging vigilance in the wake of ISIS chatter calling for attacks on military and law enforcement in the US.

NORAD, meanwhile, is increasing its alert posture and the number of planes ready to respond to a problem, according to CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr. NORAD is in continuous contact with Canadian law enforcement, CNN is told.

“We have taken appropriate measure to ensure that NORAD is postured to respond quickly if the ongoing situation in Ottawa should include any effect on aviation,” NORAD spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

Washington was already reviewing its approach to security before the shooting in Ottawa. A man shocked the nation last month by allegedly jumping the fence outside the White House and making his way into the building before finally being stopped by security. Around the same time, reports emerged that a man with a gun rode the same elevator as Obama during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Those incidents prompted the resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson.

In an interview with Roll Call published Wednesday morning before the Ottawa shootings, Terrance W. Gainer, the former Senate sergeant at arms, said the U.S. Capitol complex is too open.

“The only people that have left their campus open is the Capitol,” Gainer said. “Now, I get people wanting to be open, but people have to somehow understand there are constant threats and if the only way to mitigate the threat is have an officer chase after the bad guy --- you’re going to end up having problems.”

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