COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
State officials have increased security around the Missouri Capitol after last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol but are not aware of specific threats in the days ahead, a highway patrol spokesman said Tuesday.
The FBI has received information that "armed protests" are being planned at all 50 state capitols, as well the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
Meanwhile, federal, state and local governments are increasing security after five people died in violence last week at the U.S. Capitol. The FBI bulletin warns that armed protests at state capitols could start this week.
Patrol Cpl. Kyle Green said the FBI's bulletin contains few specifics.
“We have increased security around the state Capitol after the incident that happened in Washington D.C. last week,” Green said. “We have additional troopers surrounding the building, but no other measures have been taken until specific violence is known.”
Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI, said the agency is working with law enforcement at all levels to ensure public safety. The FBI does not comment on specifics of its bulletins, she said.
“Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity,” Patton said. “As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners.”
Patton said the agency's focus is "not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property."
Missouri Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike O'Connell said the state is sharing information in real-time with regional and national homeland security agencies.
Crime prevention expert Adam Duncan, who works with the Department of Public Safety, said right now agencies are preparing for the unknown.
"At this point, both from the FBI standpoint and really from a law enforcement standpoint, it's a potential rather than an actualized threat and so it is more a matter of figuring out what needs do we have and what resources do we have," Duncan said.
"Until there is information that says, hey we have some sort of an event coming on, we don't want it to be wasted effort and certainly not wasted money going into something that is not needed."