Rehearsal of the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, scheduled for January 17, was postponed for security reasons. This is reported by Politico, citing two sources familiar with the decision.
According to the publication’s sources, officials and national security officials are alarmed by the growing threats around the future inauguration. The FBI had previously warned of possible protests in all U.S. states over the coming weekend.
As a result, the inauguration rehearsal was postponed until Monday, January 18. Biden and his team’s rail trip from Wilmington, Delaware, to Washington, D.C., has also been canceled due to increased security requirements. The National Guard is expected to send more than 20,000 troops to the U.S. capital to provide security during the ceremony itself.
Earlier, FBI head Christopher Wray said the bureau is recording a significant number of security threats online in the run-up to Biden’s inauguration. “Right now we’re tracking calls for potential protests with guns,” he said, adding that he fears possible violence during rallies planned not only in Washington but in other states as well. He said law enforcement officials have already detained about 100 and identified about 200 more rioters outside the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
In addition, law enforcement officials have notified the U.S. Congress that several thousand Donald Trump supporters are going to storm the Capitol again on January 20, the day of Biden’s inauguration. House of Representatives member Conor Lamb described the intention of “4 thousand armed patriots” to prevent the Democrats. He said the alleged rioters have “rules of engagement,” so they could be considered an organized group.
At the same time, as the Washington Post notes, some organizers of demonstrations in support of President Donald Trump were forced to cancel a number of protests in the administrative centers of the states and the American capital because of fears that law enforcement agencies will start to arrest them. The newspaper also stresses that dozens of people involved in the riots in Congress are on the lists of people who, according to the FBI, may be involved in terrorist activities.
U.S. authorities are taking heightened security measures in Washington ahead of Biden’s inauguration. Much of downtown adjacent to the White House and Congress is closed to vehicular traffic. Capitol Hill is cordoned off, with no access for the general public. Earlier US President Donald Trump introduced a state of emergency in Washington and ordered to send additional federal forces for law enforcement before and during the inauguration of the new head of the White House. The emergency measures will continue through Jan. 24.