FBI: Armed Protests Planned in All 50 States in Run-up to Biden Inauguration

The FBI is focusing “on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property,” not peaceful protests.

FBI: Armed Protests Planned in All 50 States in Run-up to Biden Inauguration

Washington – An internal FBI bulletin issued on Sunday is warning law enforcement agencies that armed protests are planned at the capitols of all 50 states, as well as in the U.S. Capitol later this week and through the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

Some of the participants are believed to be members of extremist groups, reports the Associated Press.

The FBI said it was focusing “on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property,” not peaceful protests.

The announcement follows last week’s attack of the National Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. Five people died in the coup attempt, including Brian Sicknick, 42, who died from the injuries he sustained when he responded to the attack. Sixty of his fellow officers were also injured.

The siege of the U.S. Capitol followed weeks of online posts calling for violence by those claiming – falsely – that Biden was not rightfully elected president.

Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism told the AP that last week’s Capitol siege demonstrated the emergence of a new movement, he calls “Trumpist extremists” or radicalized Trump supporters. Others who appear to be organizing the upcoming events include supporters of the anti-government, pro-gun “boogaloo” movement.

Campus Safety has resources that can help campus public safety departments prepare:

10 Steps to Mitigating Possible Election-Related Unrest on Campus covers many promising practices, including:

  • Identifying potential campus protest scenarios and preparing your relevant contingencies
  • Identifying resources needed vs. available, and taking steps to ensure self-sufficiency and redundancy
  • Planning and adjusting your manpower accordingly

In July, both at our Summer Campus Safety Online Summit and in Tips for Refining Your Campus’ Controversial Speaker Policy, UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett shared the valuable lessons her department and institution learned from hosting controversial speakers and subsequent protests and demonstrations.  I highly recommend you watch her Online Summit presentation and read the article, which outline’s UC Berkeley’s experience with these issues.

I also recommend you review Managing Controversial Speakers on Campus, which reviews how U.S. institutions of higher education are attempting to address the security challenges surrounding controversial speakers and protests.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray

Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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