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State law enforcement: No credible threats against Rhode Island ahead of Biden inauguration

After the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C., federal and local authorities remain vigilant

PROVIDENCE — Law enforcement leaders in Rhode Island said Thursday afternoon there were no credible or imminent threats of violent attacks in Rhode Island ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

State Police Colonel James Manni and Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. were both on a call Wednesday with Christopher Wray, the FBI director, and Kenneth Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, about the potential for violence.

Neither Manni nor Clements would reveal specifics about any warnings, but said they were sharing information and intelligence with the federal authorities.

“I want all of Rhode Island to know we are being very vigilant and aware of threats across the state of Rhode Island,” Manni said.


Federal authorities issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning that the deadly breach by pro-Trump rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 would be a “significant driver of violence” for armed militia groups and racist extremists targeting the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

Since the attack on the Capitol, state police patrols have been increased across the Rhode Island, and security has been increased at the State House and other infrastructure. Manni said that he briefed Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee about the call with federal authorities.

While legislative employees were told to work from home the day after the Jan. 6 attack, out of an abundance of caution, Manni said he was not making any recommendations to cancel any public events.

In the capital city, the Providence police are working closely with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and sharing information with them, Clements said. “Right now, there are no credible, substantiated threats in Providence and Rhode Island,” he said. “And, we’re on it in a big way. There’s so much that’s unpredictable in this moment.”


Amanda Milkovits can be reached at amanda.milkovits@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.