Minnesota Capitol gets National Guard cover over 'Boogaloo Bois' threat: 'Not going to cower in the corner'
'People who would engage in such lawless behavior need to know that there will be a response and that we're not going to cower in the corner,' Minnesota AG Keith Ellison said
Minnesota National Guard soldiers are on standby to shield the state’s Capitol building from President Donald Trump supporters after threats of violence across the US following the January 6 Capitol riots that killed five people, including one police officer. Reports said nearly 500 soldiers are already in place in Minnesota, but it is not yet clear how many more troops will be sent to guard the St. Paul’s Capitol. The FBI has reportedly said that 'Boogaloo Bois' -- a loose collective of armed men which believes that a second US civil war is coming -- would probably cause unrest as they are scheduled to hold pro-Trump rallies in several cities of the US on January 17.
According to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, the public should expect "an appropriate presence of folks there to ensure that there's peaceful gatherings, to make sure that the intent to do damage to any of the buildings will not happen."
The governor also added, “Some of those are a little more difficult to find because they move to kind of corners of the internet, but there's folks that are trained to make sure that they're looking for that.” Minnesota Attorney General of Keith Ellison said people responsible for making threats or inciting violence would face consequences. “People who would engage in such lawless behavior need to know that there will be a response and that we're not going to cower in the corner. We're gonna step up and hold them accountable," he added.
Officials are focusing on Minnesota because members of the Boogaloo Movement have an active presence in the state. A report from the FBI's Minneapolis field office mentioned that the Boogaloo Movement members had used a December demonstration "to perform reconnaissance to identify escape points and defensible positions" while others "scouted general law enforcement presence [and] identified law enforcement sniper locations and considered breaking into federal buildings for use as firing locations, if fighting occurred."
The US Attorney's Office of the District of Minnesota, Erica MacDonald, and FBI Special Agent Michael Paul also issued a joint statement while criticizing the "violence and terror" of January 6’s deadly protests at Washington, D.C, calling it a "reprehensible affront to our institution of democracy." They added that they would "hold accountable any individual who traveled from the District of Minnesota to commit illegal, violent acts."
For the January 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the Minnesota National Guard has been called for support. Colonel Scott Rohweder, the Minnesota National Guard director of operations, said, “Every four years National Guardsmen from throughout the country are called to assist local units supporting the inauguration. We are proud and ready to serve the nation at this historic event."
Meanwhile, a statement from Twitter that confirmed that Trump’s account has been suspended also stated that “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.” Regarding the Republican leader’s account suspension, the social media giant added, “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”