WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – With the inauguration just eight days away, multiple government agencies are making sure it’s safe.
The nation has been put on alert. The FBI sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country warning of possible armed protests at all 50 state capitol buildings starting January 16 through President-elect Biden’s inauguration on January 20th
The FBI Tuesday morning asked for the public’s help in identifying the person thought to have placed two pipe bombs in Washington last week at the RNC and DNC.
Former FBI agent Clint Watts said, “I think that’s where the real danger is because you have local groups that can easily mobilize to a state capitol, where it’s going to be far less resources to defend against such a mobilization.”
On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security ordered that security precautions for the inauguration begin this week.
With some preparations already taking place, an anti-scale fence forms a wide perimeter around the Capitol. There will be security checkpoints with metal detectors, street closures, and a massive police presence including federal agents and up to 15,000 soldiers from the National Guard.
The Secret Service, the agency responsible for securing the inauguration, said in an interview with NBC’s Pete Williams they are well prepared to protect next Wednesday’s events.
Michael Plati is the agent leading the effort. He said, “We’re keenly aware of what happened at the Capitol, lessons can be learned from what happened at the Capitol. Mass civil disturbance is something that we plan for. We have contingencies in place and plans in place to address that kind of behavior.”
Meanwhile, the mayor of D.C. has asked federal officials to cancel “any and all” public gathering permits in the nation’s capital from now through the inauguration and is urging people not to travel to Washington.
The National Park Service has now closed the Washington Monument to what it called a serious threat to the monument, and members of the House have said they have been briefed by the Capitol police about new and serious threats against Democrats in Washington. Some of those threats according to members of Congress are said to be “chilling.”
NBC News has learned there will be an all-senators briefing on inauguration security Tuesday afternoon at the Capitol.