US media, citing intelligence services, reported their concern and warnings of armed attacks to coincide with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, despite calls from outgoing President Donald Trump and his supporters to remain calm.
The Daily Beast got an intelligence statement issued by the Secret Service, warning of armed protests in Washington, coinciding with Biden’s inauguration.
He stated that the extreme right-wing Boogaloo Boys group is expected to participate in the protests, which the intelligence statement expects to have a violent character.
The New York Times revealed a state of concern among senior intelligence officials, during a conference call, about possible attacks on government buildings, the homes of some members of Congress and companies.
The newspaper said that federal officials are calling on police chiefs in major cities to be on high alert, in preparation for the inauguration of the president-elect, in addition to calling on law enforcement agencies to watch for signs of unrest.
She also stated that these devices will issue a national bulletin urging Americans to be careful in the coming days.
Arming the National Guard
Meanwhile, the US authorities raised the level of security measures in the vicinity of the Congress building, and National Guard personnel deployed at the site were provided with weapons, unlike their usual past days.
The Pentagon had decided to arm members of the National Guard in anticipation of an outbreak of violence with the approaching day of Biden’s inauguration as president on the twentieth of this month.
And the American Politico magazine has previously quoted sources in the National Guard, its readiness for the possibility of attacking the Congress building with explosive devices, in conjunction with Biden’s inauguration.
The recorded photos showed National Guard soldiers sleeping the corridors of the Congress building.
The images showed that increasing numbers of National Guards spent their nights inside the Capitol and its rooms in anticipation of a repeat of the scene of Trump’s supporters storming the building last week, as well as in light of the FBI’s warning about a plot by extremist right-wing groups to target Congress and government headquarters across the United States.
For his part, the acting chief of police in Washington, DC, expected the deployment of more than 20,000 National Guard during the inauguration ceremony.
In this context, Jeffrey Rosen, Acting Minister of Justice, called on his citizens to report any plans to carry out hostilities in the coming days.
Rosen, in a video posted on YouTube late Tuesday evening, a week after Trump’s supporters attacked the Congress building, promised to pursue and hold accountable those who violate the law.
Chief of Staff General James McConville posted a tweet on Twitter that included a message to the military regarding the events in the Congress, in which he said that the violent riots in the Capitol were an attack on Congress and American constitutional democracy.
McConville added that since the founding of the United States, soldiers have committed themselves to preserving democratic ideals, while upholding civilian authority through an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.
He stressed that democratic elections are a constitutional right, and the army has no role in determining their outcome.
The general pointed out that the nation expects all members of the United States Army to follow the law and do the right things properly, as he put it.
In a related context, a statement from Biden’s transition team said that the president-elect and his team take security threats very seriously.
The statement added that the team is in contact with the current administration to obtain as much information as possible about the threat picture, and the preparations that are being put in place to deter and defend against unrest.
The statement pointed out that the president-elect team will receive daily briefings on security preparations to ensure that the transition process proceeds smoothly.
He stressed that the transfer of power from one administration to another is the cornerstone of American democracy, and that the president-elect and his deputy focus on protecting the security of the people and their institutions, and this will be a top priority in the days before the inauguration and throughout the Biden administration and his deputy, Kamala Harris.
AIRBNB, which allows online rental of housing, has announced that it will cancel reservations in the Washington metro area during Biden’s inauguration week.
The platform said in a statement that this step comes in response to officials in the capital who asked it and similar platforms to avoid renting accommodation in Washington until the inauguration ceremony.
She pointed out that she would prevent her services from any guests associated with what she called hate groups or acts of violence.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham issued a joint statement with his colleague in the Senate, Ron Johnson, calling for the formation of an independent commission to investigate the security failures that allowed the congressional building to be breached, causing the deaths of 5 people.
In their statement, Graham and Johnson called for the committee to be composed of non-partisan security experts recognized at the national level.
For his part, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal called for the formation of a committee to investigate the storming of local “terrorists” in Congress, similar to the 9/11 commission.
A week after his supporters stormed the Congress building while Biden’s victory was validated, the outgoing president – who is facing parliamentary court proceedings for incitement – called on his supporters to avoid violence.
Trump said in a statement that in light of the reports of more demonstrations, he urges avoiding violence, not violating the law and avoiding acts of sabotage, whatever it is, and added that he does not support violence, sabotage and violating the law, and America as well, according to him, calling on all Americans to Help calm down and reduce stress.