by Kaylee Greenlee
Several agencies are participating in the U.S. Secret Service’s security protections around the inauguration in Washington, D.C., including the FBI and Customs and Border Protection.
The Metropolitan Police Department and the National Guard will join the FBI and Customs and Border Protection to participate in security efforts surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. FBI officials are investigating a substantial number of “concerning” comments online about potential events on and leading up to inauguration day, FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a briefing on Thursday.
“Right now we’re tracking calls for potential armed protests and activity leading up to the inauguration,” Wray said. “The reason I use the word ‘potential’ is because one of the real challenges in this space is trying to distinguish what’s aspirational versus what’s intentional.”
Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said that the Capitol riots affected how the city is planning for Biden’s inauguration, during a Wednesday press conference. Bowser continued to ask Americans to stay home and participate virtually.
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Robert Contee said that he remains “concerned” going into the weekend because “there’s a major security threat and we are working to mitigate those threats so again we are just very intently focused on the job that’s at hand.” He added that in his 31 years with the MPD he has not seen such a broad response from different agencies to an event.
Officials have confirmed that 15,000 members of the National Guard have been activated, the AP reported. However, Contee said that he expects over 20,000 national guardsmen to be deployed in Washington and that the official number of guardsmen will be released by the Secret Service.
“I think you can expect to see somewhere upwards of beyond 20,000 members of the National Guard,” Contee said.
National guardsmen from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York have committed to deployment in Washington, Fox5 DC reported.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is also planning on participating in security measures led by the U.S. Secret Service, the agency announced on Thursday. The agency will offer an “aerial-based video transmission program that delivers real-time video footage to the ground,” CBP told the DCNF.
Several permit requests were submitted for demonstrations leading up to Inauguration Day, despite Bowser’s request that the Department of the Interior decline all new applications and cancel any previously issued permits.
The National Parks Service received seven applications expecting a total attendance of at least 10,375 people, though some of the applications have yet to be approved, National Mall and Memorial Parks Chief of Communications Mike Litterst told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The NPS did not say whether they will take action to approve or deny permits for next week, though they said they would not revoke permits that were already issued. Only three permits have been issued for next week, all to various religious groups expecting less than 1,200 people total, according to the NPS records.
The MPD repeatedly did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
– – –
Kaylee Greenlee is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Extra Security” by Elvert Barnes. CC BY-SA 2.0.