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Biden inauguration: US states brace for possible pro-Trump violent protests

With the US Capitol in the background, members of the National Guard change shifts as they exit through anti-scaling security fencing on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP photo)

Cities across the United States are preparing for a potential new wave of violent demonstrations to avoid similar mayhem in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.

Barriers are being erected and thousands of National Guard troops are being deployed as the FBI issued a warning to police agencies of possible armed demonstrations outside all 50 state capitol buildings starting Saturday, saying it is tracking an "extensive amount of concerning online chatter."

Several states have deployed nearly 1,000 National Guard members to the nation's capital in D.C. to defend it in addition to ramping up measures at home.

While some of them have deployed local and state law enforcement or declared a state of emergency, others have taken other measures to secure capitol buildings.

Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Washington among others activated their National Guards to tighten security. Texas, in the meantime, closed its Capitol through Inauguration Day.

In Washington, D.C., streets near the Capitol were closed and battalions of camouflaged National Guard soldiers are being deployed across the city center.

On January 6, President Donald Trump’s supporters launched a deadly assault on the US Capitol, disrupting briefly the certification of the November election results. Five people were killed in the siege.

Last Wednesday, Trump was impeached for the second time under the charge of incitement of an insurrection. The Senate will not vote on impeachment until after Biden’s inauguration.

On Saturday, the Democratic leaders of four US congressional committees said they had launched a review of the violent events. They also said they had written a letter to the FBI and other intelligence and security agencies asking about what was known about threats, whether the information was shared and whether foreign influence had any role.

“This still-emerging story is one of astounding bravery by some US Capitol Police and other officers; of staggering treachery by violent criminals; and of apparent and high-level failures — in particular, with respect to intelligence and security preparedness,” said the letter.

The letter was signed by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

Meanwhile, there were some protests on Saturday, but statehouses were mostly quiet throughout the day. However, law enforcement officials have been preparing for Sunday, when the anti-government “boogaloo” movement had made plans weeks ago to hold demonstrations in all 50 states.

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