ANNAPOLIS (WJZ/AP) — Maryland State Police are on alert this next week as more armed demonstrators are possible before and during Biden’s inauguration.
The FBI issued a bulletin warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington 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.
An internal FBI bulletin warned that, as of Sunday, the nationwide protests may start later this week and extend through Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, according to two law enforcement officials who read details of the memo to The Associated Press. Investigators believe some of the people are members of some extremist groups, the officials said.
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“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 bulletin said, according to one official.
Gov. Larry Hogan’s office said Monday they are aware of online information on possible armed demonstrations at state capitols on January 17 in particular.
2. The Maryland State Police is aware of on-line information regarding the possibility of armed demonstrations in state capitals on January 17th. We remain in constant contact with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners regarding any potential events.
— Mike Ricci (@riccimike) January 11, 2021
They said they remain in “constant contact” with local, state and federal law enforcement on any potential events.
Maryland State Police is also prepared to assist during the inauguration in DC and events before and after it.
“Maryland and many of our police departments and the whole state and the guard are always somewhat involved in the inauguration this is obviously a much more heightened situation,” Gov. Hogan said.
Gov. Hogan will receive a security briefing with the FBI on Monday afternoon and then meet with DC Mayor Bowser and Virginia Gov. Northam.
The Maryland National Guard currently has 500 members. The governor said they believe they will increase several 100 more guard members after they finish discussions.
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.”
The riots followed weeks of online calls for violence in Washington in the waning days of Donald Trump’s presidency.
A tweet in which Trump promised that last Wednesday’s event “will be wild” fueled a “month-long frenzy of incitements, strategizing, and embrace of violence against lawmakers,” according to a research group that tracks online extremism activity, In a report issued Saturday, the SITE Intelligence Group also warns that the Capitol attack has emboldened Trump-supporting extremists.
“No matter how all this plays out, its only the beginning,” posted a user on TheDonald message board, according to the report.
Maryland State Police said in a statement Tuesday that they remain on alert:
“Since its deployment to Washington, D.C. on January 6th, the Maryland State Police Mobile Field Force remains on alert and subject to immediate recall. This specially-trained and equipped team of troopers is ready to be deployed wherever needed.
The Maryland State Police is aware of on-line information regarding the possibility of armed demonstrations in state capitals this weekend. We remain in constant contact with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners regarding any potential events with a criminal nexus in Annapolis. If such an event is scheduled, the Maryland State Police will work in support of the Maryland Capitol Police, Annapolis Police Department, Anne Arundel County Police and other public safety agencies to ensure adequate law enforcement resources are available to address any violations of law.
In addition, Maryland State Police commanders remain in contact with law enforcement officials in Washington, D.C., regarding any assistance that may be required. We will continue to be prepared to assist there if needed.
We always increase patrol efforts and security measures ahead of and during a Presidential Inauguration and are doing so again this year.”
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