WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Responding to the FBI’s warning of potentially armed demonstrations in response to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, governors across the country deployed National Guard troops, declared states of emergency and closed their capitols to the public.
“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” the FBI bulletin said, according to one official. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Protests this weekend were relatively peaceful. About two dozen people, several carrying long guns, protested outside the Ohio Statehouse Sunday, observed by several of the dozens of state troopers positioned around the building. Several dozen people — some carrying American flags — gathered at South Carolina’s Statehouse. And at Michigan’s Capitol, a small group of demonstrators, some armed, stood near a chain-link fence surrounding the building as state police walked the grounds and National Guard vehicles were parked nearby.
The Capitol and statehouses across the country have increased security since the Jan. 6 breach and siege of the U.S. Capitol.
About 25,000 members of the National Guard are expected in Washington from across the country — at least two-and-a-half times the number for previous inaugurals.
Many of the statehouses have increased security and limited public access inside the statehouses. Dozens of states have also deployed additional National Guard members to Washington for extra inauguration security.
Here are some of the precautions being taken by states as of Tuesday morning:
- Alabama — sent National Guard soldiers to D.C.
- Alaska — sent 80 National Guard members who volunteered to D.C.
- Arkansas — deployed National Guard to help in D.C., increased security around state capitol
- California — activated the National Guard, increased security, National Guard and barriers around state capitol
- Colorado — deployed National Guard to help in D.C.
- Connecticut — deployed National Guard to help in D.C., heightened security measures at state capitol
- Delaware — issued an executive order surrounding inauguration activities in the state and D.C.
- Florida — Tallahassee’s mayor has asked for the deployment of the National Guard
- Georgia — increased security at state capitol, National Guard deployed to D.C.
- Hawaii — National Guard deployed to D.C.
- Idaho — National Guard deployed to D.C.
- Illinois — National Guard has been activated to protect state capitol, deployed to D.C.
- Indiana — All legislative activity canceled with the State Complex closed Tuesday and Wednesday, National Guard deployed to D.C.
- Kansas — closed buildings to the public near the Statehouse
- Kentucky — increased security at the Capitol including the National Guard, closed part of state capitol
- Louisiana — sent National Guard to D.C.
- Maine — National Guard on standby, sent National Guard to D.C., increased state capitol security
- Maryland — declared a state of emergency, sent National Guard to D.C.
- Massachusetts — deployed National Guard to D.C.
- Michigan — activated the National Guard, increased security at state capitol including a six-foot fence around capitol
- Minnesota — activated the National Guard
- Mississippi — increased security at state capitol
- Missouri — deployed National Guard to D.C., increased capitol security
- Montana — deployed National Guard to D.C.
- Nebraska — Lawmakers not meeting this week
- New Hampshire — deployed National Guard to D.C.
- New Jersey — deployed National Guard to D.C., activated to protect state capitol
- New Mexico — state of emergency declared, deployed National Guard to D.C.
- Nevada — National Guard directed to assemble a quick response team
- New England — deployed National Guard to help in D.C.
- New Mexico — declared state of emergency Saturday
- New York — deployed National Guard to D.C., more security added to state capitol
- North Carolina — activated the National Guard in the state and to help D.C.
- Ohio — activated National Guard and closed state capitol
- Oklahoma — activated National Guard to protect state capitol
- Oregon — activated National Guard to protect state capitol
- Pennsylvania — activated National Guard to protect state and D.C., closed state capitol buildings
- Rhode Island — activated National Guard to protect state capitol and D.C.
- South Carolina — capitol will be closed, lawmakers will meet virtually, National Guard deployed to D.C.
- South Dakota — National Guard deployed to D.C.
- Tennessee — National Guard deployed to D.C.
- Texas — state capitol is closed beginning Saturday
- Utah — state of emergency declared, National Guard on standby
- Vermont — National Guard deployed to D.C.
- Virginia — deployed National Guard to help in D.C.
- Washington — increased security at capitol
- West Virginia — deployed National Guard to help in D.C.
- Wisconsin — deployed National Guard to D.C., increased security including boarded up windows
Security in Washington, D.C., has also intensified ahead of the inauguration. Anti-scale fencing surrounds the U.S. Capitol, the National Mall is closed to the general public, and the District of Columbia’s mayor asked people not to visit.
Over the weekend, Capitol Police arrested a Connecticut woman at an inauguration security checkpoint for impersonating a law enforcement officer. They also arrested a Virginia man for trying to get through a checkpoint armed with a gun, ammunition and fake credentials.
On Monday, the acting Pentagon chief said the FBI was assisting the U.S. military in vetting the National Guard troops being deployed to the nation’s capital for potential security concerns.
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said in a statement on Monday the vetting is “normal for military support to large security events… while we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital.”
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