As the nation continues to reel from the January 6th insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, the States are bracing for potential action at their respective capitols as a result of warnings from federal agencies.
This week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued warnings to all 50 states of the possibility of attacks starting this weekend on into Wednesday’s Presidential Inauguration.
An internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News read, “The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, D.C., on 16 January…They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur.”
The group also reportedly plans to “storm” government offices in every state on January 20th.
Following the bulletin, FBI field offices across the U.S. were alerted of the group’s plans and have set up command posts to communicate with state and local law enforcement that includes the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
It was reported that some states were considering employing the U.S. military to provide support to agencies. California took steps and called up the National Guard to help.
According to the New York Times, at least 10 states, including California, have activated the National Guard to bolster security at Capitol grounds. Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington, Kentucky, Maine, Illinois, and Florida are the remaining nine states that have taken measures to maintain safety.
Other states, such as New Mexico, have set up protective barriers around their Capitols and in Indiana and Michigan, legislative activity has been canceled altogether for the entire week ahead because of the potential for violence.
Here in California, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a series of actions the state is taking to enhance security and that federal, state, and law enforcement are assessing threats and sharing intelligence “to ensure those disgraceful actions are not repeated here.”
Locally, the FBI Sacramento Field Office issued a statement this week regarding preparations for any potential violence that may arise related to the unrest in Washington, D.C.
“Our personnel, including special agents, bomb technicians, evidence response teams, tactical teams, intelligence teams, and others are ready to support investigations and respond to potential threats within the 34 counties FBI Sacramento serves, including the state capitol.”Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan, FBI Sacramento Field Office
In downtown Sacramento, the CHP and California Department of General Services installed a six-foot chain-link fence around the State Capitol to augment permanent barriers and fences installed last summer in response to protests against police brutality.
As preventative measures, the CHP has refused to issue permits for rallies and work crews have been busy boarding up buildings around the California State Capitol.
Lastly, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has asked Sacramento residents to avoid the State Capitol the week of the inauguration in preparation of protests and demonstrations in the area. Steinberg stated that there will be a large law enforcement presence in the area surrounding the Capitol which will include police, sheriff’s deputies, and CHP officers.
Mayor Steinberg posted the following on his Facebook page:
“In light of these potential security issues, please steer clear of the state Capitol and surrounding areas.”Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
How Sacramento FBI is preparing for upcoming demonstrations, KCRA 3, 15 January 2021
FBI discusses possibility of explosive devices at expected protests linked to inauguration, ABC News, 15 January 2021
States Brace for Armed Protests in Wake of U.S. Capitol Attack, New York Times, 15 January 2021
Buildings Board Up Around State Capitol, California Mobilizes National Guard Amid Concern Over Unrest, CBS 13 Sacramento, 15 January 2021
California To Deploy National Guard Ahead Of Expected Demonstrations Leading Up To Inauguration Day, Capitol Public Radio, 14 January 2021
Gov. Newsom Deploys National Guard To Protect Capitol Ahead Of Presidential Inauguration, CBS 13 Sacramento, 14 January 2021
FBI warns ‘armed protests’ being planned at all 50 state capitols and in Washington DC, CNN, 12 January 2021
Federal, local law enforcement prepare for possible armed protest at California state Capitol, ABC 7, 12 January 2021
Armed protests being planned at all 50 state capitols, FBI bulletin says, ABC News, 11 January 2021
FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week, PBS, 11 January 2021
FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week, Politico, 11 January 2021
FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week, Associated Press, 11 January 2021