FBI warns of ‘armed protests’ ahead of Inauguration; 580 members of Ohio’s National Guard activated

Armed protests planned in all 50 states next week, FBI warns

CEDARVILLE, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the activation of 580 members of the Ohio National Guard to assist in protecting the state Capitol and serve in Washington D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration for Joe Biden next week.

DeWine said around 200 of the members will go to Washington D.C. and the remaining will remain in Ohio.

“People have the right to protest. They do not have the right to be destructive or hurt other people,” DeWine said. “We welcome peaceful protesters, but we saw what happened at the Capitol, so we are concerned.”

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The order was signed today after the FBI warned of ‘armed protests’ being planned in all 50 states next week.

The threats come in the wake of a demonstration last Wednesday by supporters of President Donald Trump that devolved into a riot, ransacking the U.S. Capitol and leading to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

“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.

There are also threats of an uprising if Trump is removed from office before Biden’s inauguration Jan. 20, investigators said.

“On 8 January, the FBI received information on an identified group calling for others to join them in ‘storming’ state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event POTUS is removed as President prior to Inauguration Day,” the bulletin said. “This identified group is also planning to ‘storm’ government offices including in the District of Columbia and in every state, regardless of whether the states certified electoral votes for Biden or Trump, on 20 January.”

Investigators are also tracking threats to harm Biden and other lawmakers ahead of Inauguration Day.

“Additional reports indicate threats against VP-Elect Harris and Speaker Pelosi,” the bulletin said.

The FBI said it’s focus is not on peaceful protests, but “those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”

The National Guard said it will be ready.

“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,” said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.