Washington: The FBI has warned that it has received intelligence input that "armed protests" were being planned in all 50 state capitols and in Washington DC in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20, leading to fears of more deadly violence by extremists supporting outgoing President Donald Trump.
Posts on pro-Trump and far-right online networks have called for protest action on a number of dates, including armed demonstrations in cities across the country on January 17 and a march in Washington DC on inauguration day itself.
Biden told reporters on Monday he was not afraid to take the oath of office outside Capitol Hill. Both he and Kamala Harris are expected to be sworn in outside the building, only two weeks after it was the site of a deadly raid by radical supporters of Trump opposing the election result.
Trump, meanwhile, has issued an emergency declaration, ahead of his successor’s inauguration, amidst the mounting threat perception.
On Monday night, Capitol Police told House Democrats they were looking into three separate plans to hold protests, including one described as 'largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil'
But the most concerning is said to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering - killing them if necessary - so that Republicans are able to take command of government, reports Daily Mail.
Another protest is being planned in honour of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot at point blank range by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker's lobby during the Trump mob's siege, the Mail adds.
The disconcerting developments came just as Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement to insurrection.
Members of the Washington National Guard have positioned themselves, bracing for another armed ‘intrusion’. A protective fence was seen outside the US Supreme Court on Sunday as officials prepared for violence.
Monday's FBI bulletin said the bureau is aware of plans for armed protests in every single state between January 16 and 20 - with one major demonstration slated to take place in Washington, DC, on January 17. It said an 'identified armed group', which was not named directly, intends to travel to the nation's capital ahead of the protest on January 16. 'They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur,' the bulletin stated, according to ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky.
Twitter cited online chatter about a 'proposed secondary attack' on the US Capitol and its counterparts in all 50 states when it moved to suspend Trump's account on Friday.