FBI urges local police to share threat intelligence in run-up to Biden inauguration

Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
·2 min read

The FBI urged local law enforcement officials Wednesday to share any threat intelligence in the run-up to next week's inauguration, a week after extremists staged a stunning assault on the Capitol that left five dead.

In a national conference call, FBI Director Christopher Wray and other federal officials asked local authorities to scour their networks for information that could aid in the preparations for next week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

"The message was that you can't share enough information," said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, whose staffers monitored the call.

The federal request came as an off-duty Houston officer was relieved of duty for his alleged participation in the Capitol siege.

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Acevedo said it was "likely" that the officer would be charged by federal authorities for participating in the assault.

With much of Washington still reeling from the Capitol assault, Department of Homeland Security officials Wednesday activated a massive inaugural security operation aimed at walling off access to the White House and the Capitol where Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in Jan. 20.

DHS implemented the security lockdown in downtown Washington, D.C., nearly a week ahead of schedule following threats of more violence leading up to Inauguration Day.

Acting on requests from Congress and city officials, DHS acting Secretary Pete Gaynor expedited the rollout of a massive inaugural security plan Wednesday.

"In light of these requests, recent events at the U.S. Capitol ... and planned events in Washington, D.C., prior to the inauguration, I have determined that extending the (enhanced security period) to begin on Jan. 13 is necessary to provide a unified command and control and ensure the safety and security of this special event," Gaynor wrote in a memo to department officials.

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Earlier this week, the FBI warned of the potential for new armed protests in Washington and state capitals across the country in the next week.

Biden and Harris were briefed Wednesday on security preparations and continuing threats by FBI and Secret Service officials, the transition team said in a statement.

"The team is engaging with the current administration to gain as much information as possible on the threat picture, and on the preparations being put in place to deter and defend against violent disruptions or attacks," the Biden-Harris group said. "The incoming team is also focused on laying the groundwork for a smooth hand-off in power that will ensure continuous command and control across the homeland security and law enforcement components of the U.S. government.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: FBI urges local police to share threat intel related to inauguration