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Pritzker Activates 250 National Guard Troops In Springfield Ahead Of Potential Armed Protests

CHICAGO (CBS) -- With the FBI warning of threats to state capital cities leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker has activated 250 members of the Illinois National Guard to provide security at state buildings in downtown Springfield.

The National Guard will coordinate with Illinois State Police and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, as well as local and federal law enforcement agencies, to protect Illinois residents while ensuring their rights to peaceful protest, according to the governor's office.

"Following the violent siege at our nation's capitol and reports from federal law enforcement on threats to state capitals, I am bringing all resources to bear to protect our residents and our democratic process," Pritzker said in a statement. "Our exemplary members of the Illinois National Guard will be working closely with our State Police as well as local and federal authorities to keep our capital city safe. We will continue to be fully transparent with the public on any new information and the steps we are taking to respond."

On Friday, workers were boarding up several windows around the state Capitol with plywood.

On Monday, the FBI issued an intelligence bulletin warning of the potential for armed protests in Washington, D.C., and at all 50 state capitals in the days leading up to Biden's inauguration.

Pritzker also has activated an additional 100 Illinois National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., to assist with security for the inauguration. The governor had already deployed 200 National Guard members to the nation's capitol earlier this week. 

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