No public access to US Capitol on Inauguration day, as FBI warns of armed protests in all 50 states

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Armed protests planned in all 50 states ahead of Biden inauguration, FBI says
The FBI sent out a bulletin Monday advising there are armed protests planned at all 50 state capitals ahead of the Biden inauguration, after a violent insurrection at the US Capitol.

The grounds at the US Capitol will be closed to the public for Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

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.

Washington D.C. is not the only area bracing for potentially violent protests.

An internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News stated that armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitals in addition to the US Capitol.

"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.

Chaos at the Capitol: Minute-by-minute video shows how riots, violence unfolded

"Unfortunately, we can now add Jan. 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy," said Sen. Chuck Schumer. See how things escalated in our minute-by-minute video as chaos erupted.

"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."

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.

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

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

Ed Farrell, the former Deputy US Marshal in Chicago, said regular law enforcement will need National Guard backup at some locations.

"There's obviously a big effort to stop and deter these actors before they become operational, which is going to be big," Farrell said. "They're going to be gathering intelligence on these individuals, they will be surveilling these individuals. And if they're able to get probable cause to arrest them, I would imagine you're going to see some arrests of bad actors. Additionally, I think you're going to see an elevated security presence at all government facilities, they're going to limit access to the buildings, they're going to put up barricades, they're going to close doors. Things to prevent people from coming in during this elevated risk time."

Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters Monday that the Guard is also looking at any issues across the country,

"We're keeping a look across the entire country to make sure that we're monitoring, and that our Guards in every state are in close coordination with their local law enforcement agencies to provide any support requested."

As of Sunday, approximately 29 individuals and/or social media accounts of individuals who unlawfully entered the US Capitol had been identified.

The FBI has received nearly 45,000 digital media tips that are now being reviewed.

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."

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.

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

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.