“We are concerned about the potential for violence”
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Dhe US Federal Police FBI warns of potential acts of violence surrounding the swearing-in of future President Joe Biden in the coming week. At the moment, “worrying online talk” about possible actions around the inauguration can be observed on a large scale, said FBI chief Christopher Wray on Thursday (local time) in Washington. The se include calls for armed protests. The clues would be analyzed and examined for their actual threat potential. “We are concerned about the potential for violence at several protests and rallies planned for the next few days here in DC and in front of state parliament buildings,” Wray said.
More than 200 suspects have already been identified who may be planning actions based on the model of the Capitol riots, the FBI director said at a meeting of the chiefs of several security agencies with the acting Vice President Mike Pence. To the address of possible rioters and violent criminals, Wray said: “We know who you are.” Anyone planning acts of violence in the next few days should expect to get a visit from the FBI.
Supporters of the outgoing US President Donald Trump had violently entered the congress headquarters in the capital Washington last Wednesday. The security forces were not up to the onslaught of the rioters. Five people were killed in the riots.
Biden is to be sworn in on Wednesday in front of the Capitol in Washington. The congress building in the US capital is traditionally the setting for the swearing-in ceremony of the US presidents. In itself, the inauguration is an event with the greatest security requirement. This year, however, in view of the recent riots, this is particularly true – even if the ceremony takes place without the usual mass audience due to the corona pandemic.
Wray said more than 100 people had been arrested in connection with the riot at the Capitol. Countless investigations were still ongoing. From these more than 100 people there is initially no longer any danger. The arrests are also a warning to others who are considering acts of violence.
The short message service Twitter also warned a few days ago that concrete plans for further armed protests were already being disseminated on its platform and elsewhere. Among other things, there is talk of another attack on the Capitol and on parliament buildings in states next Sunday.
The area around the Capitol has now been cordoned off and a security fence has been erected. In addition, several thousand members of the National Guard – part of the US Army Reserve – were deployed to protect the Congress headquarters. The chief of the force, General Daniel Hokanson, said on Thursday that around 7,000 soldiers are currently deployed. The re could be up to 21,000 in the end to help secure the swearing-in on January 20th. So far there had been talk of up to 20,000 national guardsmen.
At the inauguration, the Secret Service responsible for protecting the President is in charge of the security measures. Secret Service chief James Murray said preparations for the swearing-in had been going on for many months. His troops are firmly convinced of the security concept that has been developed, but remain extremely vigilant.