The rehearsal for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden has been postponed one day, from Sunday to Monday, for security reasons, as concern about possible episodes of extreme violence intensifies: the FBI has warned that extremist groups can carry explosives to the protests of January 20.
In parallel, investigations continue to find the radicals who gave the assault on Congress, as well as to detect flaws in the Department of Justice and possible accomplices among security agents.
The inspector general of the Department of Justice said Friday that he will review how the department and its agencies, including the FBI, they prepared and responded to the riots. Similar investigations are also conducted in the Defense departments, on the role of the National Guard, Homeland Security, and the Interior, which includes the US Park Service Police.
The assault on the Capitol last week transformed the nation’s capital into a militarized zone. There are thousands of troops from the National Guard deployed, even spending the night inside the Congress building, streets closed and strict controls. Still, the city is not safe.
“No vengan a Washington D.C.”asked the mayor of the capital, Muriel Bowser, in a press conference on Friday morning. Bowser recalled that the inauguration can be followed virtually.
The National Parks service announced that the National Mall will be closed from this Friday morning until at least Thursday, January 21. Groups that have previously received permission to protest will be allowed, but attendees will be screened. Two areas have been designated so that they can march.
They warn of the danger of bombs in the protests
In one of the latest newsletters, the FBI warns that security agents and the public face a “substantial” hazard before the explosive devices that the protesters can carry in the days before the inauguration, indicated ABC News.
The document includes photos of devices that have been used in the last eight months against residents and police during protests. During the violent rampage into the Congress by Donald Trump fanatics, what appear to be homemade bombs were found outside the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. A source from the Federal Police told ABC News that they were active and were not fake devices.
The FBI has also warned that extremists consider last week’s assault “a triumph”, which is why it is feared that it will inspire more attacks.
An unusual inauguration with maximum alert throughout the country
Threats from radicalized and conservative groups have provoked substantial changes in the January 20 inauguration, making it an unusual event. Not only will there be limited access to downtown Washington DC but possibly up to 20,000 troops will also be deployed. The celebration will be practically virtual and will have the presence of Lady Gaga and Jennifer López, among other stars.
The cancellation of the rehearsal, which was scheduled for this Sunday, was confirmed by sources familiar with the event plans to our sister network NBC News and to Politico, which was the first to report the story.
The President-Elect Team also canceled a trip aboard Amtrak trains from Wilmington, where Biden resides, to Washington that was scheduled to take place on Monday for safety reasons.
The fear of possible incidents It is not restricted to Wednesday January 20 or Washington DC
The FBI sent a report Monday to law enforcement agencies and bodies, warning of possible armed protests in all 50 state capitols from January 16. Many of these legislative headquarters have already been the scene of armed protests, arrests and violence.
In the violent irruption into Congress, which began an impeachment trial against Trump, at least five people died. One of them was a policeman who the attackers threw a fire extinguisher at his head.
They will investigate federal and police agents
The investigation into what happened on January 6 has not only left hundreds of extremists behind bars across the country, but also has had an internal impact on security agencies.
At least a dozen officers and police are already under investigation for possibly having participated or assisted in the assault. It was also known that the FBI was aware of the radicals’ plans, before the tragic Wednesday, and had warned the Capitol Police about it.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Friday that he will look at the type of information that Justice Department agents had beforehand about possible attacks on Congress and whether they disclosed it to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies. It will also analyze what the response was once the riots started.
Horowitz said he will evaluate if there are “weaknesses” in DOJ action protocols, policies, or procedures that negatively affected the department’s ability to prepare for or respond to what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6.