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FBI: 'Armed protests' over Biden inauguration could happen at Kansas Statehouse

Titus Wu
Topeka Capital-Journal
Protesters holding rifles and wearing vests walk down the steps at the Kansas Statehouse on April 23, 2020.

Last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol may not be the last.

The FBI on Monday warned of plans for "armed protest" at all 50 state capitols and Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

It has led to fears of a repeat of the events of Jan. 6, when Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol while Capitol Police struggled to contain them. At least two died from causes related to the riot. 

On the same day, there was also a protest at the Kansas Statehouse, but it was peaceful and protesters had permission to be in the Statehouse.

The expected protests at state capitols could happen anytime from Jan. 16 through at least Jan. 20, the FBI said.

The Kansas Highway Patrol didn't comment much on whether any security presence would be increased. Officers at the Statehouse were receiving information from intelligence officers, the agency said, and if any information suggests such events would happen beyond a planned protest, it would "act accordingly."

Gov. Laura Kelly's office said it was aware of the information the FBI sent out.

"Our office is aware of the heightened risks being reported, and we are taking all threats seriously," she said in a statement.

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, head of the Legislative Coordinating Council, told The Associated Press that he was worried about protests and asked for extra security from the Kansas Highway Patrol.

“We’re hopeful that things, people, remain calm and the democratic process can continue,” Ryckman said.

Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson's spokesperson said Masterson was in the process of reviewing the matter and would be on a call Wednesday to get more information. His spokesman said Masterson would have further comment Wednesday afternoon.

The Kansas Legislature kicked off its session Monday, though the body doesn't meet over the weekends, including the day of Jan. 17. 

Some social media posts being circulated call for another event to occur on Inauguration Day. Twitter noted that in its reasoning for banning President Donald Trump's account.

"Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021," the company said.