FBI warns of possible armed protests by Trump supporters ahead of inauguration day

The FBI has warned of possible armed protests across the United States by far-right groups and Trump supporters ahead of President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20.

Reports of armed groups gathering in 50 state capitals and in Washington DC before Joe Biden is sworn in as president.

Posts by far-right and pro-Trump networks have called for protests on a number of dates, including armed demonstrations in cities across the country on 17 January and a march in Washington DC on inauguration day itself.

ABC News and several other outlets released an internal FBI bulletin, warning that one group is calling for the “storming” of state, local and federal courthouses around the country if Mr Trump is removed from office early and on inauguration day if he is not.

Although the violence at the US Capitol dominated headlines last week, similar smaller incidents were also reported elsewhere in the country. Local police agencies have been told by federal law enforcement to increase security at statehouses, according to US media.

FBI warnings are in place for all state capitals from 16 to 20 January itself and in Washington DC at least three days before the inauguration.

Companies and social media networks are cracking down against users and websites seen to be encouraging violence, including social network Parler, which said it was suing Amazon for removing it from its web hosting service.

Twitter said it had suspended more than 70,000 accounts that promoted the Q-Anon conspiracy theory while Facebook said it was banning any content that refers to Stop the Steal, a slogan associated with Mr Trump’s claim the election was rigged.

READ: Donald Trump declares emergency in Washington DC ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration