FBI on high alert for EXPLOSIVES at inauguration protests as National Guard given green light for lethal force
THE FBI has warned of a "substantial" danger from explosives at protests expected to take place across the US in the lead up to Joe Biden's inauguration.
It comes after the news that the 20,000 National Guard troops stationed in Washington DC have been authorised to use lethal force ahead of pro-Trump demonstrations set to take place this weekend.
An internal FBI bulletin seen by ABC News said that armed demonstrations are being planned at all 50 state capitols as well as the US Capitol at least until Inauguration Day on January 20.
The report follows the riot at the US Capitol that took place as lawmakers met to certify the results of November's election last week.
After the unrest, a number of homemade explosive devices were found at a number of sites around Washington, including outside the Democratic and Republican national committee buildings.
The US Capitol Police later said the devices could have inflicted "great harm".
The latest FBI bulletin warned there was the possibility that similar devices would be brought to the upcoming protests.
"The danger posed to law enforcement officers and the general public from the all the tactics listed is substantial," it read.
It went on to give advice to anyone who discovers a suspect package.
"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," it said.
"Only bomb disposal personnel should handle any suspected devices that are located."
The bulletin also included photos of devices found at public protests in the last eight months, including the one found outside the Republican National Committee.
The DC National Guard also released a statement this week confirming that armed troops would be deployed ahead of the inauguration.
"On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff," it read.
A defense official later confirmed that the troops had been given the green light to use lethal force, US News reports.
The statement continued: "Guardsmen are trained in the use of lethal and less-than-lethal force, de-escalation techniques, as well as the use of protective equipment.
"This is standard for civil disturbance response missions."
Robert Contee, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, has also said cars may be searched outside the red zone surrounding the inauguration if any reports are received of the presence of explosives.
Pictures this week showed hundreds of National Guard troops on standby at the US Capitol visitors centre after being drafted in to help protect the building.
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