FBI Los Angeles: No known threats as officials ramp up safety efforts ahead of Inauguration Day

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Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are ramping up security measures around government buildings in the aftermath of last week’s insurrection in Washington, D.C. by rioters seeking to keep President Donald Trump in office.

With the FBI warning of plans for armed protests in Washington and all 50 state capitals ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,  law enforcement agencies are taking steps to keep Los Angeles and surrounding counties safe.

On Thursday, the FBI’s top official said the agency had been tracking an “extensive amount of concerning online chatter,” including calls for armed protests leading up to next week’s presidential inauguration.

“Between now and the presidential inauguration, the Los Angeles Field Office will maintain a heightened posture and stand up a 24-hour command post to monitor for threats,” said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI Los Angeles field office, in a statement regarding the agency’s preparations for Inauguration Day. “The command post will include numerous FBI special agents, analysts, specialized teams, and support staff.”

Those command posts also bring together personnel from across the government “to gather intelligence, to assess potential threats, to coordinate investigations, and to surge resources where needed,” FBI Director Chris Wray said in his remarks on Friday at an inauguration security briefing.

As of Saturday, however, the agency said there were no known specific or credible threats to the seven counties covered by FBI Los Angeles, which include L.A., Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the agency said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday that he is mobilizing the California National Guard to support California Highway Patrol’s security efforts and protect critical infrastructure, including the state Capitol.

“We’re treating this very seriously and deploying significant resources to protect public safety, critical infrastructure and First Amendment rights,” Newsom said in a video message. “But let me be clear: There will be no tolerance for violence.”

Los Angeles city officials are also taking precautions ahead of President-elect Biden’s inauguration.

On Friday, L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez announced that she has canceled Wednesday’s city council meeting and urged City Hall staff to work remotely amid threats of violence surrounding Inauguration Day. 

“After the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and the subsequent reports that armed protests are planned at state capitols throughout the country, the FBI has urged police chiefs to be on high alert for threats on Wednesday,” Martinez said in a statement.

“In light of this concerning information, I am urging all departments in City Hall whose staff work in these buildings that they work remotely on January 20 to ensure their safety and allow LAPD and other law enforcement to focus on safety concerns outside the buildings and throughout Los Angeles,” she said. 

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