Tri-state area on alert after FBI warns of 'armed protests' across country

Annie McCormick Image
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Tri-state area on alert after FBI warns of 'armed protests' across country
Law enforcement agencies in the Philadelphia region are on high alert after the FBI warns of 'armed protests' planned in all 50 capitols from January 16 through at least Inauguration Day.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- An FBI memo circulated to law enforcement agencies across the country is warning of "armed protests" planned in all 50 states from January 16 through at least Inauguration Day.

The intel is being taken very seriously by authorities especially in light of the investigation into what threats authorities were aware of prior to the deadly violence that unfolded in the nation's capital last Wednesday.

In Harrisburg, leaders were briefed by authorities responsible for the security of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton of Philadelphia said she was briefed.

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

Running through at least Inauguration Day, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitals and the Capitol, according to FBI.

"Many members have contacted me especially last Wednesday as we saw the terror unleashed on our nation's capital," said McClinton.

She said during her swearing-in ceremony the day before, protesters were out on the steps of the Capitol.

A memo obtained by Action News that's being circulated among Senate staffers states, "All Senate Capitol and District Offices will be closed beginning Friday, January 15 at 5 p.m. until Thursday, January 21 at 8 a.m... Capitol Police has closed the Capitol plaza from Monday, January 18-20, 2021 to prepare for any protests/riots during that time."

The Department of General Services , who oversee Capitol Police, did not respond to 6abc's inquiries by phone or email today. The House Security and Senate Security officers do not carry weapons or have arrest powers. Capitol Police have jurisdiction over The Capitol and The Capitol Complex that surrounds The Capitol Building and officers carry weapons and do have arrest powers.

Democratic State Senator Maria Collett who represents parts of Montgomery and Bucks Counties said Senate police gave guidance to members on how to handle their district offices.

SEE ALSO: Trump issues emergency declaration for DC ahead of Biden inauguration

The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week's deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

Separately, Collett said within her district, since last week, she has seen tensions rise. She has been flooded with emails from constituents about signs and flyers posted promoting racial discord and white nationalism.

"It's no coincidence to me after Wednesday's events last week we're seeing these signs pop up," said Collett.

In Trenton, where New Jersey State Police is responsible for the security within the state Capitol, a state police spokesperson said in a statement they are working with federal and state law enforcement agencies.

"Anyone planning to carry a firearm must be licensed to carry in New Jersey and have the proper documentation in their possession," the statement read.

Delaware's Capitol in Dover also has heightened security handled by Delaware Capitol Police.