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After the U.S. Capitol rampage, FBI warns of armed protests ahead of inauguration

By Reuters 11 January 2021
Caption
Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the US Capitol building on 6 January 2021 in Washington, DC. A pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, breaking windows and clashing with police officers. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest against the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo: Jon Cherry / Getty Images)

Jan 11 (Reuters) - The FBI has warned of possible armed protests being planned for Washington, D.C., and at all 50 U.S. state capital cities in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, a federal law enforcement source said on Monday.

By Mark Hosenball

Faced with threats of move violence from supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, the National Guard was authorized to send up to 15,000 troops to Washington, and tourists were barred from visiting the Washington Monument.

Biden’s inaugural committee said on Monday the theme of the Jan. 20 ceremony will be “America United,” even as the country grapples with the fallout of last Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol by Trump loyalists.

The law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the FBI warnings were from Jan. 16 and at least through Jan. 20 for state capitals and for the three days leading up to Inauguration Day in Washington D.C.

The Chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel Hokanson, told reporters he expected about 10,000 troops to be in Washington by Saturday and they would focus on supporting security, logistics, and communications.

He said the number could rise to 15,000 if requested by local authorities.

At least one lawmaker asked the Pentagon to do more.

Senator Chris Murphy, who said he was sending a letter to the acting secretary of defense on Monday, said it was unclear if the National Guard would be sufficient to protect the nation’s capital and active duty troops may be needed also.

 

WASHINGTON MONUMENT CLOSED TO TOURS

The Park Service said it would suspend tours of the Washington Monument, an obelisk honoring the country’s first president, through Jan. 24 due to safety concerns from threats to disrupt the inauguration.

In a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf made public on Sunday, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser called for a fresh approach to security after what she called last week’s “unprecedented terrorist attack.”

Bowser asked Wolf to cancel public gathering permits through Jan. 24.

The assault on the Capitol, challenging the certification of Biden’s victory in a November election, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead. Dozens of people have been charged in the violence and hundreds more cases are expected.

Despite evidence of a fair election, Trump has challenged the validity of Biden’s substantial victory. Democrats in Congress began a push on Monday to force Trump from office, introducing an article of impeachment that accuses him of inciting insurrection.

The presidential inaugural committee said in a statement on Monday its theme “reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America,” echoing Biden’s campaign pledge to heal the country’s divisions.

The committee has told Americans not to travel to the inauguration, and said Washington’s National Mall will be covered with 191,500 flags of different sizes, to represent the missing crowds.

A U.S. presidential inauguration traditionally draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the U.S. capital, but the ceremonies have been scaled back dramatically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump said last week he would not attend the ceremony, a decision the president-elect supported.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball, Idrees Ali, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Ted Hesson and Simon Lewis in Washington, Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Howard Goller)

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All Comments 5

  • It won’t take too long after Biden and the Democrats take over, for the ever gullible voting fodder to realise that the new lot are no better, nor no worse, than the last lot. One day they will realise that it’s not the Govt (s) that call the shots, the real power lies much deeper, will never show a public face, but control everything to the nth degree.

    • Let me guess: Jewish capital, the Deep State, Bill Gates, Atilla the Hun, Queen Elizabeth, Jimmy the Gong. Luckily the Celestial Council is looking out for us. We will be OK!

      • Hi Bruce, actually some, or none, of the above, but essentially big business, with huge vested interests and deep pockets when it comes to financing the “Govt of their choice”. Puppets never pull their own strings.

  • Neo-fascism and fear as James Blignaut argued in DM yesterday.
    However, suggesting, as your correspondent Devlyn does, that the incoming administration will be as bad as the departing one is obviously rubbish. Trump claimed, and continues to claim that he’ll ‘drain the swamp’. And many believe him. Not recognising he’s the most toxic part of the swamp himself. The real threat from that sociopath and psychopath is obvious enough. At the same time, we should heed Mike Russell’s caution (DM yesterday) against our binary view of issues which are far more nuanced.

    • Louis, of course is entitled to his opinion, although I will refrain from calling his ‘obvious rubbish’. Time will tell, or have we already forgotten some of the previous worthies such as Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, to mention a few. Closer to home, Mnangagwa replacing Mugabe. Politicians mostly are just people who can’t get a proper job, or are megalomaniacs like Hitler, Trump, Putin, or closer to home, Malema.

  • PHOTOGRAPHY

    Hit the road, Trump… And don’t you come back no more

    By Maverick Life Editors