WASHINGTON, D.C. – As online chatter suggests there is more pro-Trump violence to come in the U.S., the FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington in the days leading up to President-election Joe Biden’s inauguration, stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week’s deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.
An internal FBI bulletin warned that, as of Sunday, the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. Investigators believe some of the people are members of some extremist groups, the officials said. The bulletin was first reported by ABC.
“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the bulletin said, according to one official. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
The FBI issued at least one other bulletin — they go out to law enforcement nationwide on the topic — before the riots last week. On Dec. 29, it warned of the potential for armed demonstrators targeting legislatures, the second official said.
Some private chat groups that are being monitored promote a ‘Million Militia March’ on Biden’s inauguration Day, which is set for Jan. 20 in the nation’s capital. Warnings have also been rampant on social media, with people sharing word of the march intended to disrupt the ceremonial transfer of power.
Trump Supporters are organizing a Million Militia March in Washington, DC — the same day as the presidential inauguration.
One of the scariest things?
We can't even trust law enforcement to keep Joe Biden and Kamala Harris safe.
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) January 8, 2021
There are flyers everywhere about the Million Militia March 1/20/21!! Is ANYTHING being done to prevent a full scale attack on the inauguration???
— Pati (@PatiKRoll11) January 8, 2021
The New York Times reports there is also chatter about ride shares, where to find lodging, and what to bring, including things like baseball bats or assault rifles.
The mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, is among those calling for preparations to be made in the wake of the deadly riots that took over the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
“The events that we saw, fortunately, they were contained in the Capitol building and we saw traitors to our nation try to overthrow our government. And we have to continue to say that. All 535 members of Congress were in that building, and the vice president of the United States,” she said on MSNBC.
“These aren’t run-of-the-mill protesters. Many of these people demonstrated training for charging and breaking into a building. I think we’re going to find a lot of them had military or other law enforcement training, and they meant to get into that building to terrorize our lawmakers, who were performing their constitutional duty.”
She said that is why they are calling on the Department of Homeland Security to take extra steps and coordinate with local, state, and federal partners to prepare for Biden’s inauguration, noting it’s clear the protesters “plan to come back.”
“So part of that, where we’re now is expanding the security perimeter for the inauguration so that the United States Secret Service would be in charge of the Capitol and its grounds, as well, and extending the time period that federal agencies have to work with us,” Bowser said.
— Muriel Bowser (@MurielBowser) January 11, 2021
She is asking Americans to stay away for the next two weeks.
On Jan. 6, five people died as a violent mob stormed the Capitol building, where lawmakers were debating ahead of the certification of Biden’s election win. Stunning images from the scene showed the chaos that unfolded, with rioters shattering windows and doors and breaching the Capitol, taking over chambers and entering politicians’ offices.