World

Biden's inauguration: Violence expected in 50 state capitals, says FBI

UNITED STATES : The FBI has warned of armed protests being planned for Washington and all 50 US state capitals in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's Jan 20 inauguration, a federal law enforcement source said on Monday.

Threatened with more violence from outgoing President Donald Trump's supporters following the storming of the US Capitol on Jan 6, the FBI issued warnings for next weekend that run at least until Inauguration Day, the source said.

In other steps to safeguard the US capital, the National Guard was authorised to send up to 15,000 troops to Washington, and tourists were barred from visiting the Washington Monument until Jan 24.

The chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Daniel Hokanson, told reporters he expected about 10,000 troops in Washington by Saturday to help provide security, logistics and communications.

He said the number could rise to 15,000 if requested by local authorities.

Sixteen groups - some of them armed and most of them hardline supporters of Mr Trump - have registered to stage protests in Washington, prompting deep concern among federal officials about an event that has historically been a packed celebration of American democracy, The New York Times reported.

NOT AFRAID

"I'm not afraid of taking the oath outside," Mr Biden told reporters in Newark, Delaware, referring to the traditional setting for the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol grounds.

But he said it was critically important that people "who engaged in sedition and threatened people's lives, defaced public property, caused great damage" be held accountable.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump acknowledged he bears "some responsibility" for the assault on the US Capitol, Republican congressional leader Kevin McCarthy told party lawmakers on Monday, according to two people familiar with Mr McCarthy's briefing. - REUTERS

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