FBI says currently no credible threat against the state Capitol
Steve Hughes and Robert Gavin are reporting for the Times Union Albany city officials are asking people to avoid the downtown area on January 17 and 20, in preparation for possible protests near the Capitol. During a news conference January 14, Mayor Kathy Sheehan said there was currently no credible threat against the city. Authorities do not expect anything on a "massive scale," she said. "This is a city of protests, this is the state capital," she said. "We are used to hosting protests and we are prepared to be ready if protesters do come on Sunday or again on Wednesday." Right-wing activists have pushed for armed protests in every state capital and Washington, D.C., to protest President-elect Joseph Biden's election as well as his January 20 inauguration. Thomas Relford, the special agent in charge for the Albany division of the FBI, said, "At this point in time, the FBI has not received any specific threat to the New York or Vermont state Capitol or other government buildings in our area,” he said. Relford said the office would still maintain a heightened posture between now and the inauguration. Sheehan asked those who disagree with any protesters to stay home and not show up for a counter-protest. Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said, "The take away for the Albany community at this point is that we will likely have an increase in activity on Sunday as well as Wednesday. We're encouraging our residents and our visitors to avoid the downtown area on those days." Early Thursday, a banner promoting a white nationalist hate group appeared on Interstate-90 near the Loudonville and Arbor Hill exit. It was removed that same day by law enforcement. Relford urged anyone with tips or information about suspected violence or criminal activity to call 1-800-CALL-FBI. Read the full story in the Times Union.