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FBI: "No Credible Threat" To Inauguration

11:16 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA) - Four years ago, the Internet was rife with chatter from hate groups furious about the inauguration of the first African American President.

The FBI says there's much less chatter this year.

But the security blanket will be just as intense. 

At a secret location outside Washington the US Secret Service is coordinating it all with 42 other state, local and federal agencies. Just outside the Multi Agency Communications Center, the Secret Service has a framed headline about JFK's assassination, a reminder of the high stakes.

Inside the MAAC, seats for 100, big monitors plugged into every law enforcement camera in the city, a constant stream of intelligence. "We hope for and anticipate a safe and secure inauguration," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

In 2009, the FBI was particularly concerned about white supremacists.
The web was filled with hate speech about the incoming African American President. But intel officers are hearing less of that this year. "Currently we do not have any credible threats against any of the activities regarding the inauguration," says FBI Acting Assistant Director Debra Evans Smith.

If there's an incident, God forbid, word of it may first come to the MAAC, then the agency with jurisdiction will notify commanders, they'll issue commands, and the commands will come back to the MAAC to be shared with everyone else.

Four years ago, an estimated 20-thousand law enforcement officers patrolled on land, air and water. And just as many are likely to deploy this year -- but with a new found emphasis on ensuring that people can get in to celebrate American democracy. "There's an immense focus on making people feel like they can get in and out without security being overbearing," says DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

They will also close the 3rd Street tunnel and deploy guides -- hoping to keep thousands of people from getting stuck and missing the swearing in. "Our goal was met (in 2009) of having a very safe inauguration," says Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan. "But we need to get the logistics right too."

The Secret Service can even run it's brand new Twitter feed from the top secret MAAC.

If you want to watch the inauguration without the security, you can stay right here on WUSA9. We'll be on the air from 4 a.m. through primetime, up and down Pennsylvania Avenue and right through the parade.

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