FBI bulletin warns of nationwide armed protests: reports
The FBI is warning of armed protests at the U.S. Capitol and all 50 state Capitols in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to multiple reports on Monday.
The FBI has reportedly received information of a group calling for the “storming” of state, local and federal government buildings if efforts are taken to remove President Trump from office before Biden’s inauguration, according to an FBI bulletin first reported by ABC News.
House Democrats on Monday introduced an article of impeachment against Trump, charging him with inciting a mob of his supporters to carry out last week’s violent attack on the Capitol; the House will vote on impeachment Wednesday.
The group is also planning to lay siege to government offices across the nation on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, according to the reported FBI bulletin.
“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” the bulletin read, according to ABC. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”
A spokesperson for the FBI did not confirm the bulletin, but said the agency is supporting state, local and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety.
“Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats,” the agency said in a statement.
The FBI sent the memo warning about the armed protests to law enforcement agencies across the country, NBC News reported, citing an unnamed senior law enforcement official.
The memo also includes information provided by the ATF, DEA, Defense Department, Park Police and the U.S. Marshals, among other agencies, the official told NBC News.
The official told NBC News that some of the information came from social media, some from open source and some from other sources of information.
The warning follows the deadly riot in D.C. last Wednesday, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, an assault that has led to at least five deaths.
Trump supporters had openly posted on social media platforms about the possibility of violence in the days leading up the violence in Washington.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Monday called for increased security protocols leading up to Biden’s inauguration. She called for acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to extend the special security event period surrounding the inauguration from Monday to Jan. 24.
Bowser has also asked the Interior Department to cancel public gathering permits and deny further permit applications for the same time period, and requested Trump make a pre-disaster declaration in order to get additional federal assistance quickly to support preparations for the inauguration.
Twitter last week permanently suspended Trump’s account, saying his posts pose “the risk of further incitement of violence.” In the same blog post explaining its decision, Twitter noted it has seen plans for further armed action “including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021” proliferating on the platform.
Facebook last week also took action to limit the spread of Trump’s posts ahead of the transfer of power. The company banned Trump at least until Biden’s inauguration.
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