Intelligence agencies say more violence to come in days leading up to, and after the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.
An internal FBI memorandum read by anonymous employees to Associated Press reporters Monday, January 11, says there may be more massive protests of the kind that shut down the U.S. Capitol last week.
The FBI employees, who asked that their names not be used because they were not authorized to speak for the agency, said armed demonstrations would take place beginning January 16 leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration. The protests will be held not only in Washington D.C., but in the 50 states’ capitols, where actions would be directed at states’ legislatures.
“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve,” read the statement. “Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity.”
Thousands of people who believe last November’s Presidential election was fraudulent and that President Donald Trump won re-election, descended on the U.S. Capitol building January 6. They overran U.S. Capitol Police, broke windows, and charged into the Senate, halting the certification of the Presidential election’s electoral college votes. They also invaded U.S. Senators’ private offices, sat at Senators’ desks, and stole items from the offices. In one case, a protestor was photographed waving to onlookers as he walked away with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern.
Responding to last week’s insurrection and upcoming protests that pose security challenges to the Washington D.C. region, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, released a joint statement urging Americans to stay away from the January 20 swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
“Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, D.C. and to instead participate virtually,” read the statement in part.
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The assault on the U.S. Capitol was reportedly organized through various right-wing social media websites. Recently, Google and Apple dropped the app to Parler, one of the sites. Amazon blocked Parler’s access to its web hosting services. Twitter has cancelled President Trump’s account, as Trump used it to convey false statements and to urge his fans to “Stop the Steal,” the slogan for the so-called fraudulent Presidential elections.
A newer right-wing social media site called Gab claims that it backed up Trump’s Twitter posts and saved them. A Gab commenter says Trump should obtain a Gab account. Another commenter on the site posted a cartoon of Pepe the Frog, a symbol of the political right and white supremacists, setting fire to Twitter’s trademark blue bird.
The White House meanwhile, issued what it said is a statement from Trump, urging any demonstrations protesting the outcome of the Presidential election to be peaceful and nonviolent. He was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for the second time during his four-year term, on Wednesday, January 13, for his role in inciting the January 6 U.S. Capitol invasion. Speaking to the demonstrators before they went to the U.S. Capitol, Trump claimed again that the November election was fraudulent without offering any evidence.
The FBI continues its work with the U.S. Capitol Police, the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and other law enforcement entities, to arrest those allegedly involved in the insurrection. Rioters are being identified through videos and photos posted by the alleged rioters on social media.
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