Outgoing US President Donald Trump on Monday, 11 January has approved a federal emergency declaration for Washington DC that will last till 24 January. Authorities had warned the Trump administration of security threats ahead of the inauguration of President-elect, Joe Biden on 20 January, reported Reuters.
Last week, an angry mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Hill in Washington DC, sloganeering and participating in destruction of property. A clash with the police resulted in a woman being shot dead. Three others died because of medical emergencies.
After the incident, President Donald Trump had publicly said “we love you” to the protesters. Democrats in Congress have introduced impeachment proceedings against Trump for the second time around in the president’s term, this time, for his alleged role in inciting the violence.
FBI Warns Risk of Armed Protests Being Planned in All 50 State Capitals
In the wake of this 6 January incident, the federal law enforcement had warned that additional attacks could ensue. The FBI issued a memo on Monday to warn of armed protests being planned for Washington and all 50 US state capitals in the run-up to Biden’s inauguration, reported Reuters.
The federal bureau is also tracking ‘threats to harm’ Biden, VP elect Kamala Harris and House speaker Nancy Pelosi, reported The Independent.
Mayor Muriel Bowser requested the declaration of the emergency.
“if I’m scared of anything, it’s for our democracy, because we have very extreme factions in our country that are armed and dangerous. Our goals right now are to encourage Americans to participate virtually and to protect the district of Columbia from a repeat of the violent insurrection experienced at the Capitol and its grounds,”said Bowser in a press conference on Monday, quoted The Independent.
Additional Security to Be Provided
The Department of Homeland Security ordered the US Secret Service to begin preparations for Biden’s inauguration on 13 January itself instead of 16 January because of the Capitol Hill incident and thereafter the ‘evolving national security landscape leading up to the inauguration’, quoted The Independent.
The National Guard is sending up to 15,000 troops to Washington to provide safety and logistical support, and the Washington Monument has been shut for tourists till the emergency ends, reported Reuters.
(With inputs from Reuters and The Independent)