FBI warns bombs post “substantial” threat ahead of nationwide protests before Biden inauguration

FBI warns bombs post “substantial” threat ahead of nationwide protests before Biden inauguration
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a new memo warning that bombs pose a “substantial” threat in upcoming protests expected to take place across all 50 state capitals, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. 

In a Friday memo, the FBI released a list of explosive devices found over the last eight months that targeted the public and law enforcement. The organization noted that infrastructure was also threatened. 

Suspected explosive devices were discovered on Jan. 6 in both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee buildings ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, which claimed the lives of five people, including a police officer. Antifa-affiliated rioters have also used numerous explosive devices on federal law enforcement officers in Portland and New York City, which saw police attacked with Molotov cocktails and other improvised explosives.

During the summer, two lawyers were arrested for allegedly firebombing a police cruiser during a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City, following the death of George Floyd. The duo was charged with seven felonies in relation to the attack. 

“The danger posed to law enforcement officers and the general public from the all the [sic] tactics listed is substantial,” the FBI said. 

“If a suspicious item is reasonably believed to contain explosives, an IED, or other hazardous material, DO NOT touch, tamper with, or move the item. Only bomb disposal personnel should handle any suspected devices that are located,” the FBI memo reads, according to ABC News.

The FBI warned that armed protests are planned in each state capital from Sunday up until Inauguration Day on Wednesday. Local authorities are on high alert for potential violence. 

According to the New York Post, FBI Director Christopher Wray said investigators are tracking a large amount of “concerning online chatter” about events surrounding the inauguration.

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