Barack Obama will be protected by five tons of "transparent armour" at his swearing-in, amid unprecedented security for a presidential inauguration.
By Alex Spillius
Last Updated: 6:41PM GMT 18 Jan 2009
The bulletproof "glass" is actually a plastic compound that can resist repeated gunfire and grenades, and it will flank the new president when he addresses a vast audience from the steps of the Capitol.
It has been used for his outdoor speeches since winning the election, and most recently in Baltimore on his train ride to the capital.
Though no specific threat has been detected, since the election of the first African-American the "chatter" on white supremacist websites has increased, along with the number of threats that require investigation, according to security officials.
More than 23,000 police and reservist troops will be part of a security cordon that will include armed water patrols, helicopters and fighter jets.
Yesterday he took his first public ride in the new presidential limousine, an armoured Cadillac with the number plate "44" for his numerical ranking in the list of presidents.
He will use the vehicle, nicknamed the Beast, on the 1.7 mile journey from the Capitol along the parade route to the White House. It reportedly has an eight inch thick body, tear-gas cannons and inner Kevlar tyres that keep moving after a burst.