LI police departments on high alert for extremism at local level

Washington, D.C. and state capitols nationwide are on high alert ahead of Inauguration Day following a warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

News 12 Staff

Jan 15, 2021, 11:21 PM

Updated 1,192 days ago

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Washington, D.C. and state capitols nationwide are on high alert ahead of Inauguration Day following a warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Long Island police departments are among those prepared following two days of security briefings from the FBI surrounding the inauguration of Joe Biden in the wake of the attack at the U.S. Capitol.
"We're going to be out and about," says Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. "We have our K-9 out here behind me that is out here training today, our bomb sniffing dogs will go out."
During a briefing with Vice President Mike Pence, the Secret Service, FBI and Department of Homeland Security stressed concern about the potential violence at multiple protests planned in D.C. and at state capitol buildings.
"No particular state capitol mentioned or identified, just this elevated online chatter that indicates a higher level of tension right now," says Ken Cuccinelli, of the Department of Homeland Security.
And while New York's state Capitol is in Albany, there are concerns surrounding other government buildings.
"The thought was, perhaps federal courthouses, state courthouses and government buildings," says Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart. "We want to make sure we are checking those locations periodically, we want to make sure our intel section is monitoring social media."
Michael Balboni, the former Homeland Security adviser for New York, says the lockdown of D.C. for the inauguration could cause some extremist groups to stay local.
"Just folks who want to disrupt government, not just the inaugural, but there are groups who do not believe in the federal, state governments, and they have basically conducted campaigns over the years," says Balboni. "The question is will those folks get organized and will they take their mission and message to local government?"
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday the state is deploying 250 members of the New York National Guard to D.C. to support the security efforts. Another 1,000 members went down last week.


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