United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in Washington D.C..
The declaration came on the heels of a revelation by the police of three plots to attack the Capitol Building ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration, including the “largest armed protest in American history”.
It also came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alerted its agents to possible uprisings at capitols in 50 states ahead of Inauguration Day, particularly if Trump is removed from office before Biden enters the White House.
Trump’s declaration allows the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate with local authorities as Democrats had been furiously demanding.
On Monday night, the new chiefs of Capitol Police told House Democrats they were looking into three separate plans, including one described as “the largest armed protest ever to take place on American soil”.
The protesters plan to involve armed rioters encircling the Capitol and blocking Democrats from entering – killing them if necessary – so that Republicans can take command of government.
They also plan another protest in honor of Ashli Babbitt, the USAF veteran who was shot by a police officer as she tried to clamber into the Speaker’s Lobby during the Trump mob’s siege.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” one Democrat told Huffington Post of the police briefing.
The FBI’s internal memo warned of a group which was calling for the ‘storming’ of state, local and Federal Government buildings, as well as court houses if Trump is removed from office.
The bulletin came to light just as Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an article of impeachment accusing Trump of incitement to insurrection, five days after the mob of the president’s supporters stormed the Capitol, leaving five people dead in a futile bid to overturn the general election.
More than 6,000 members of the National Guard were deployed to Washington, DC, over the weekend, with dozens of them standing guard over the Capitol during Monday’s proceedings.
Capitol Police told Congress that it was preparing for up to tens of thousands of Trump supporters arriving in the days ahead, including possible violence to take control of the White House and the Supreme Court.
Working alongside their colleagues in the National Guard, the police are said to have told Democrats that they had agreed on rules of engagement in the eventuality of an armed demonstration.
They do not plan to shoot anyone unless fired at first, but they added that there were exceptions to the rule.
The police urged caution on lawmakers about leaking any specifics to the press because Big Tech had so successfully ‘cut off main communications’ that many could now only learn of plans through traditional media.
One member remarked that the Silicon Valley gagging order on Trump’s supporters “might ultimately save lives”.
But as the Capitol Police expressed confidence it was making sufficient plans to combat any violent uprisings, some lawmakers questioned whether this was the case given the lax security last week.
One Democrat told the police chiefs that there was clear evidence that some in the police department could be ‘in league with the insurrectionists who love to carry their guns.’
“You can’t just let them bypass security and walk right up to Biden and Harris at inauguration,” this lawmaker told HuffPost.
A further area of Democrat speculation surrounded whether the Trump administration was preventing federal law enforcement from lending its expertise to the police.
The member told the HuffPost: “I don’t think anyone has confidence that the folks at the Pentagon, that may or may not even be needed for some of this, or the Department of Homeland Security, where we don’t even know who’s in charge, are going to be cooperative.”
The National Park Service said it would close the Washington Monument and other area facilities beginning today and lasting through January 24.
The Pentagon is also reportedly considering sending as many as 13,000 guardsmen to secure the area on Inauguration Day. Prior to last week’s breach, officials had planned to deploy roughly 7,000 guardsmen.
The hardened-up security plans came after the Department of Defence said it was aware of “further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day”, Congressman Jason Crow (D – Colorado) said in a statement Sunday after speaking with Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy about security preparations.
The Department of Homeland Security is working with the Defense Department, local DC authorities and inauguration officials to sharpen the law enforcement response in the coming days, including by erecting non-scalable fencing and security checkpoints around Capitol Hill.
“Now that it happened people will take it much more seriously,” a senior DHS official told CNN in reference to last week’s violence. “Now, the planners, they are all going to take it much more seriously.”
Federal and local authorities have faced fierce criticism for their perceived failure to crack down on Wednesday’s insurrection despite evidence that they knew it was coming.
Hundreds of people might face federal charges in the wake of last week’s Capitol breach, DC’s acting US attorney said in an interview with NPR over the weekend, saying a massive, 24-hour-a-day hunt was on to identify suspects and bring charges against them.
In the meantime, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is ‘extremely concerned’ about security on Inauguration Day in a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf over the weekend. She wrote that the event ‘will require a very different approach to previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury and death experienced at the US Capitol during the insurrection’.
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to be sworn in on the west front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20.
911 Attack: Biden Announces The Withdrawal Of U.S Troops From Afghanistan
President Joe Biden on Wednesday formally announced his decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan before September 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that led the US into its longest war.
“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” Biden said.
“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” he added. “I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”
In a sign he views his remarks as a historic bookend to the prolonged conflict, he delivered them from precisely the same spot in the White House Treaty Room that President George W. Bush announced the start of the war on October 7, 2001.
Afterward he’ll visit the section of Arlington National Cemetery where many of America’s war dead from Afghanistan are buried.
Biden will say that American diplomatic and humanitarian efforts will continue in Afghanistan and would support peace efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban. But he’ll be unequivocal that two decades after it began, the Afghanistan war is ending.
“It is time to end America’s longest war. It is time for American troops to come home,” he said.
Biden said the withdrawal will begin on May 1, in line with an agreement President Donald Trump’s administration made with the Taliban. He said the complete withdrawal will be done by September 11.
The deadline Biden has set is absolute, with no potential for extension based on worsening conditions on the ground. Officials said after two decades of war, it was clear to the President that throwing more time and money at Afghanistan’s problems wasn’t going to work.
“This is not conditions-based,” a senior administration official heavily involved in the deliberations said on Tuesday. “The President has judged that a conditions-based approach, which has been the approach of the past two decades, is a recipe for staying in Afghanistan forever.”
Some US troops will remain to protect American diplomats, though officials declined to provide a precise number.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Wednesday he spoke to Biden and that he “respects the US decision.”
“Afghanistan’s proud security and defense forces are fully capable of defending its people and country, which they have been doing all along, and for which the Afghan nation will forever remain grateful,” Ghani said on Twitter.
Officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright identified as Kimberly Potter
Protesters, cops clash in Minnesota after fatal police shooting
Daunte Wright protesters march across Manhattan Bridge in NYC
Biden: Daunte Wright protesters have no justification for looting
Timberwolves-Nets game postponed after Daunte Wright shooting
The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot a black man during a Sunday traffic stop has been identified as 26-year veteran Kimberly Potter.
The 48-year-old officer’s identity was released Monday night by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Potter acquired her Minnesota police officer’s license in 1995 and the age of 22 and began working for the Brooklyn Center Police Department shortly after, according to state records reviewed by the Star Tribune, who first named the officer.
During her career, Potter has served on the department’s negotiation team, the newspaper reported.
Potter has been placed on administrative leave following the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Biden on Daunte Wright protesters: ‘Absolutely no justification’ for looting
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Time Gannon has said the officer mistook her gun for a Taser.
Police bodycam footage released Monday shows the officer yelling “Taser! Taser!” as others struggled with Wright in his car.
The video shows Wright stepping out of his car, then leaping back behind the wheel and driving off.
“Holy s–t,” the officer is heard saying on the video. “I just shot him!”
Potter is married to a former police officer. She has two adult sons, according to the Tribune.
In August 2019, she was one the first responding officers to the police shooting of Kobe Dimock-Heisler, the report said.
Two officers involved in the shooting were told by Potter to “to exit the residence, get into separate squad cars, turn off their body worn cameras, and to not talk to each other,” according to a Hennepin County Attorney’s Office investigative report.
Nigerian man disguises as a woman to escape after killing another foreigner
Nigerian man disguises as a woman to escape after allegedly killing another foreigner in Libya
A Nigerian national has been arrested in Msallata town, northwestern part of Libya over the alleged murder of another foreigner.
According to The Libya Observer, the Nigerian allegedly killed the foreigner, stole his money and tried to escape the town disguised as a woman.
However, he was arrested by security forces in Msallata.
“Security forces in Msallata town have arrested a foreigner from #Nigeria for killing another foreigner before stealing all his money. The killer disguised himself as a woman in an attempt to escape from the town” the report says.
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