After violent pro-Trump loyalists stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, a local South Florida expert is warning that federal buildings across the nation should be on alert as Joe Biden's inauguration approaches.
"Obviously, D.C. is on a higher level of readiness already. I see the opportunity for a lot of small scale but violent operations," said Retired Army Colonel and FIU professor G. Alexander Crowther, who told NBC 6 he believes that "state Capitols should be on a higher level of readiness."
The insurrection resulted in at least five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer.
The social media platform Parler, a meeting place that was known to be lately frequented by right wing extremists, has since been shut down. But Crowther noted warned that "there are platforms out there that they can go to."
He believes a portion of Trump supporters could find work-arounds to communicate and develop strategies to mobilize.
”People are leaving WhatsApp to go to Signal for instance, because WhatsApp has new rules,” Crowther said. “There’s always going to be a hardcore, roughly 10 percent that are going to continue on doing this.”
Crowther added that he’s very confident the Joint Task Force that protects Washington will stop any trouble that arrises there, but he's more concerned about the state Capitol in Tallahassee.
One of the men arrested after the riots was a Navy veteran, and another a retired Lt. Colonel who had been a fighter pilot in the Air Force Reserve.
“Terrorists will go anywhere to terrorize people, if it’s convenient. It’s a 16 hour drive up here from Miami, but you and drive to Tallahassee with your AR-15 in your car and your body armor, and I am worried about disperse events," Crowther said.
"I am not worried about a thousand people showing up with AR-15s. I am worried about 10 people showing up with AR-15’s, and shooting three or four people,” he added via Zoom.
He said law enforcement in Tallahassee have received warnings from the FBI to take the threat seriously.