On January 20, all eyes will be on President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Unlike previous ceremonies, the event is expected to attract protests and unrest across the country, following the violent Capitol riot which took five lives last week. According to reports, the FBI has warned that there are planned, armed protests in all 50 states with security personnel on high alert.
The world will be watching nervously with tensions set to run high. Speaking to ICON.ink Former Assistant FBI Director, Chris Swecker, said there is real cause for concern, not only on the homefront but in relation to international terrorism.
“I don’t want to give up any sources, but I’ll say this, they’re taking potential security concerns very seriously,” Swecker told the publication. “Every FBI field officer has been shifted to high alert, so they’re ready to respond. I am concerned that they’re committing so many resources to Inauguration Day and domestic terrorism that we’re now leaving ourselves exposed to international terrorist attacks, they can’t take their eye off the ball.”
Swecker spent more than 20 years in the bureau before retiring in 2006. Nowadays, he works in private security and works closely with the US Government.
25,000 National Guard troops are expected to be on the ground in Washington D.C. with the former agent warning it would be “suicidal” to breach the inner perimeter where Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President. However, according to Swecker, if any unrest ensues, it will most likely take place in other state capitals with right-wing and left-wing groups clashing. “These are flash incidents so they’re hard to police,” he says.
There have been a slew of arrests made by the FBI following the Capitol riot last week. New intelligence according to Swecker suggests the siege was a far more organized and preemptive attack than originally thought.
“The FBI has gathered intel on groups who were planning together online, and it seems like it was a coordinated attack,” he says. “We may see some pretty interesting conspiracy indictments coming up in the next few weeks when charges for the Capitol attack are laid.”
“[Authorities] were caught flatfooted last week, but the inauguration is designated a Level One national security event, which is the highest threat level.”
Brie Jackson, a television correspondent, posted to Twitter that the former President will leave office at 8 AM on January 20 followed by a departure ceremony. He is expected to touch down in Florida at 11AM the same day.