FBI Houston tracking down threats ahead of Inauguration Day

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Friday, January 15, 2021
FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week
The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, stoking fears of more bloodshed after last week's deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With just days before Inauguration Day, the FBI Houston division said it will focus on gathering and coordinating with local partners on potential threats between now and Jan. 20.

In a statement released Thursday, the FBI said the agency has not received any specific threat. FBI Houston also announced it is actively working on identifying those who were involved in the siege of the Capitol and those who continue to incite violence and engage in criminal activity in Houston.

SEE ALSO: Trump issues emergency declaration for DC ahead of Biden inauguration

A new FBI assessment obtained by ABC News says individuals or groups could converge around the country and threaten or use violence at events planned to occur through at least Inauguration Day.

"The FBI remains concerned multiple armed protests and rallies planned at the US Capitol, in the District of Columbia, and potentially at all 50 state capitol buildings through at least 20 January 2021, could bring armed individuals within close proximity to government buildings and officials," the document said.

SEE ALSO: No public access to US Capitol on Inauguration day, as FBI warns of armed protests in all 50 states

The local action was announced just days after an internal FBI bulletin, which was obtained by ABC News earlier this week, stated that the agency had received information about a group that has called for "storming" state, local and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings in the event President Donald Trump is removed from office prior to Inauguration Day.

In addition, armed protests were planned at state capitols and the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Chaos at the Capitol: Minute-by-minute video shows how riots, violence unfolded

"Unfortunately, we can now add Jan. 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy," said Sen. Chuck Schumer. See how things escalated in our minute-by-minute video as chaos erupted.

The bulletin included a map that showed the extent of law enforcement activity related to potential threats surrounding election certification and the inauguration.

FBI Houston specifcally asked for the public's help to identify any potential threats. They are urging people to call 713-693-5000 or go to tips.fbi.gov to submit tips regarding potential violence at any upcoming protest or event. If you know of an immediate emergency, please call 911.

Pierre Thomas has more on a warning from the FBI about possible armed protests planned in all 50 states over the next 10 days.

The White House released a statement Wednesday from President Trump asking for calm after the FBI intelligence was made public.

"In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind," Trump said. "I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You."

The FBI has received nearly 45,000 digital media tips that were being reviewed. Dozens of people and/or social media accounts of individuals who made entry into the Capitol had been identified.

On top of information being distributed by the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security's intelligence office, a day after the siege at the Capitol, released situation report headlined "Threats Surrounding the 2021 Electoral College Certification."

It opened this way: The Office of Intelligence and Analysis "assesses individuals harboring violent extremist ideologies and other violent actors likely will continue to threaten or target elected officials, other public figures, and members of the general public who these actors perceive as opposing their worldview, which is consistent with past attack plotting and historical drivers for violent activity. (The Current and Emerging Threats Center) remains in communication with the Intelligence Community to ensure any threats concerning government operations are identified."

As a result, state capitols across the nation stepped up security, deploying National Guard units, SWAT teams and extra police officers as several legislatures convened amid heightened safety concerns. Texas authorities in Austin braced for violence outside the State Capitol on opening day of the legislative session this week, though general calm remained.

The FBI bulletin also stated unequivocally that Officer Brian Sicknick "died from injuries sustained during the US Capitol breach."

The video above is from a previous story.

The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.