Most apparent is the Capitol Visitor Center, which separates the public entrance from the main building. Officials have also installed a series of bollards and hydraulic vehicle barriers and closed off streets around the campus.
The attack led to increased cooperation with the intelligence community, Gainer said. He noted the Capitol Police has officers embedded with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and also in the CIA.
“One of the gigantic benefits that came out of 9/11 was the need to share information, connect the dots, keep each other informed,” he said. “There’s been rich working relationships that have developed and they’re paying off.”
The officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity also noted the Capitol Police’s monitoring of the airspace.
“Pilots have to be in contact with the tower if flying at a certain altitude,” the officer said.
“We have the capability of knowing who those folks are and we have a procedure that if in fact these aircraft get too close to the Capitol, we can order an evacuation of the Capitol.”
More than 30 freshman Members got a rare opportunity Monday to get intelligence information straight from the source. It was unclear at press time what was discussed or how many Members attended the previously scheduled meet-and-greet with CIA Director Leon Panetta. But bin Laden surely came up.
“The director has been looking forward to meeting the Members for some time,” CIA spokesman Preston Golson said. “He’s pleased, of course, that he’s able to discuss with them one of the CIA’s greatest accomplishments.”