FBI warns of armed protests at state Capitols, Washington DC
(Sourced from PTI)
The FBI has warned that it has received intelligence that "armed protests" are being planned at all 50 US state Capitols and in Washington DC in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20. Worryingly, pro-Trump and far-right online networks have called for protest action, including armed demonstrations on January 17 and a march in Washington DC on Inauguration Day itself.
US President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for the national capital ahead of his successor Biden's inauguration, amidst threat perception to the event by federal agencies. It comes in the wake of last week's violent protest, in which thousands of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building and clashed with police.
"Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state Capitols from January 16 through at least January 20, and at the US Capitol from January 17 through January 20," according to the internal FBI bulletin obtained by CNN and other media outlets.
The emergency in Washington DC will be effective from Monday till January 24. In a statement on Monday, the White House said, "The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate relief efforts to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population."
Washington DC is being converted into a garrison city to prevent any kind of untoward incident. The Pentagon has approved to deploy more than 15,000 additional National Guard troops in the national capital. Reportedly, 6,000 national guard troops have already been deployed in the city.
According to the White House, "The emergency declaration provides appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act to save lives, to protect property, public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Washington DC." FEMA is authorized to provide at its discretion, resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.
To recall, pro-Trump supporters interrupted a constitutional process by Congress to affirm the victory of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the election. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the protests.