Law enforcement experts react to FBI memo, warning of 'armed protests'

The FBI continues to investigate and make arrests related to the deadly riot in Washington D.C. last week.

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi said the violent insurrection was telegraphed on social media for weeks. 

Figliuzzi was a special agent for 25 years and recently released the book, "The FBI Way."

In the aftermath of the siege, Figliuzzi said a lot of questions need to be answered. 

"Why weren’t sufficient police resources at the Capitol? Was this strategy directed from on high above the Capitol Police, and moving forward what do we do about the onslaught of social media posts that threaten violence?"

The FBI sent a memo this week warning of possible armed protests in all 50 state capitals between January 16 and Inauguration Day on January 20. 

Figliuzzi said this is an all-hands on deck situation for law enforcement. "You’ve got a security nightmare while the FBI is trying to triage all these social media posts," said Figliuzzi.  "And determine what’s merely aspirational, what’s the guy on his couch eating potato chips and which of these is a bad actor?"

In the Bay Area, Mike Sena is the executive director of the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC).  The government program coordinates local, state and federal law enforcement and assesses threats to public safety.  "Everyone wants to make sure that they have the adequate resources to protect their facility, that discussion of the physical barriers and the personnel on site has been critical," said Sena. 

Sena said he is working with local partners to evaluate protection of government buildings and those inside during this time. "One level is making sure that you reduce the vulnerability to the sites: reduce the ability to do harm to the people in those facilities," said Sena.  "The other part of that is the information sharing."

The law enforcement presence has been increased at California's State Capitol building in Sacramento. The California Highway Patrol said it has personnel ready to respond and Governor Newsom said he's prepared to call in the National Guard, if needed.

Sena said they've also reminded partners of what to look for and how to share it. 

"There’s a huge army of people there to help protect our community," said Sena. "A huge group of folks out there, always looking for the next threat."

Sena said the greastest partners they have are the public. They are asking people to be vigilant and "if you see something, say something."