Security ramped up after FBI bulletin says armed protests planned in all 50 states

WABC logo
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Security concerns after FBI warns of armed protests
Stacey Sager has the latest on security being ramped up across our area after the FBI issued a warning of armed protests in all 50 state capitals.

TRENTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Security is being ramped up across our area and around the nation after an FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News warned that armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitals and at the US Capitol between now and Inauguration Day.

"As of 10 January, 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," the bulletin said.

In addition, the FBI has received information in recent days on an identified group calling for "storming" state, local, and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event Donald Trump is removed as president prior to Inauguration Day.

"The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC, on 16 January," it read. "They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur."

Pierre Thomas has more on a warning from the FBI about possible armed protests planned in all 50 states over the next 10 days.

The group is also planning to "storm" government offices in every state on Inauguration Day January 20, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump.

RELATED | House Democrats prep Trump impeachment bill

The grounds at the US Capitol will be closed to the public for Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, and acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said the decision is just one part of "comprehensive, coordinated plans" in place to ensure the safety and security of both Congress and Biden's inauguration.

The announcement comes after thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol last week as legislators were meeting to vote to certify Biden's electoral win.

Biden's team and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser have been asking people not to attend the inauguration in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bulletin included a map that showed the extent of law enforcement activity related to potential threats surrounding election certification and the inauguration.

On top of information being distributed by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security's intelligence office, a day after the siege at the Capitol, released situation report headlined "Threats Surrounding the 2021 Electoral College Certification."

It opened this way: The Office of Intelligence and Analysis "assesses individuals harboring violent extremist ideologies and other violent actors likely will continue to threaten or target elected officials, other public figures, and members of the general public who these actors perceive as opposing their worldview, which is consistent with past attack plotting and historical drivers for violent activity. (The Current and Emerging Threats Center) remains in communication with the Intelligence Community to ensure any threats concerning government operations are identified."

RELATED | NY Bar Association seeks to expel Rudy Giuliani over 'combat' remarks before Capitol siege

As a result, state capitols across the nation stepped up security, deploying National Guard units, SWAT teams and extra police officers as several legislatures convened amid heightened safety concerns.

In New Jersey, State Police are preparing for a potential armed demonstration on Sunday in Trenton.

An internal FBI bulletin says armed protests are planning in all 50 states and Washington DC between now and Inauguration Day

"Needless to say, we are taking nothing for granted," Governor Phil Murphy said. "I've run out of things to say about President Trump...If I were in his cabinet, I'd join in the 25th Amendment afoot, even with only nine days to go. I'm normally a big freedom of speech guy, but when you are inciting insurrection and you are the president of the United States, I think it's a bridge too far."

Murphy pleaded with residents to stay home and avoid getting mixed up in armed protests, no matter which side they may be on.

"We take all this very, very seriously, and we do not want to underprepare for this in any shape or form," he said. "We are obviously taking the security risks deadly seriously. We will continue to do so."

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said state police do not know of any current or former troopers who were at the Capitol siege Wednesday, and he urged for protests to be peaceful.

"We trust that those that do show up, they do so in a peaceful manner," he said. "That's our request...If folks do show up at the statehouse, they go home safely at the end of the day."

The FBI bulletin also stated unequivocally that Officer Brian Sicknick "died from injuries sustained during the US Capitol breach."

Murphy ordered flags lowered to half staff in his honor.

"He took his duty with the utmost seriousness but also enjoyed interacting with the visitors who would come from around the world to tour our Capitol and with the members and congressional staff, regardless of party, by the way, who worked there," Murphy said. "May God bless and watch over the memory of Officer Brian Sicknick and his family. And may God bless our nation."


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts Submit a News Tip