FBI fears more 'armed protests' in US state capitols

By: News Desk      Published: 11:22 AM, 16 Jan, 2021
FBI fears more 'armed protests' in US state capitols

The FBI has warned of alleged plans to storm all 50 state capitols and the US Capitol in Washington in the lead-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

The news comes as security measures are being stepped up ahead of Inauguration Day on January 20 as law enforcement prepares for the possibility of further violence after the storming of the US Capitol last week by rioters.

"Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the US Capitol from 17 January through 20 January," an FBI bulletin cited by CNN stated.

"On 8 January, the FBI received information on an identified group calling for others to join them in 'storming' state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event POTUS is removed as President prior to Inauguration Day. This identified group is also planning to 'storm' government offices including in the District of Columbia and in every state, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump, on 20 January," the bulletin adds.

The FBI is also tracking reports of "various threats to harm President-Elect Biden ahead of the presidential inauguration," the bulletin states. "Additional reports indicate threats against VP-Elect (Kamala) Harris and Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi."

More than 10,000 National Guard troops will be in the capital by the weekend to safeguard the inauguration, with about 5,000 more available if requested, Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Daniel Hokanson said.

In Queens, New York, federal agents arrested 40-year-old Eduard Florea, a leader of the far-right Proud Boys group, for allegedly plotting another attack on the US Capitol. Authorities recovered over 1,000 rifle and shotgun rounds, along with knives, hatchets and swords.

The FBI also confirmed the arrest of Douglas Allen Sweet in Virginia. He was photographed with the mob in the Capitol last week wearing a shirt captioned “Camp Auschwitz” and “Work brings freedom” in reference to the Nazi death camp.

In Virginia, two police officers from the town of Rocky Mount were arrested after they boasted online about joining the insurrection. One of the officers is an Army veteran and trained sniper.