IL National Guard sent to DC as warnings prompt enhanced security throughout country ahead of Inauguration Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois National Guard members departed from Peoria Thursday to play a role in the unprecedented security perimeter being placed around the Capitol Mall.

"We have our set of rules, and we follow those. Those don't change whether it's here in DC or in a different country, we have the same rules on use of force, what we can and can't do. And we follow those regardless of where we're at," said Jacob Moushon, a Technical Sergeant in the Illinois National Guard.

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Washington, D.C. is being transformed into Fort Washington, with legions of law enforcement and thousands of soldiers encamped there. Fencing topped by razor wire is being erected to guard against what the FBI calls "armed and ready" radicals. Federal law enforcement is out with a new and stronger warning for all fifty states that domestic and militia violent extremists may storm state capitols.

After the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, FBI agents began a nationwide manhunt for those who breached the building.

Among them, Chicagoan Kevin Lyons who was arrested Wednesday near his Jefferson Park home. Authorities say Lyons has admitted being inside the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and that he brought a bulletproof vest to Washington for the President Trump rally. The heating and air conditioning technician is seen wearing body armor in an older photo he posted on Instagram.

RELATED: No public access to US Capitol on Inauguration day, as FBI warns of armed protests in all 50 states

The I-Team has obtained a Schaumburg Police report from Lyons's arrest last October when Trump supporters were faced off against a Black Lives Matter group.

According to the report, there was a "physical altercation" and Lyons's actions "were clearly inciteful and provocative towards the BLM group." Police say Lyons admitted he was there to create a disturbance and antagonize the subjects he believed were part of Antifa. He was charged last fall with marijuana possession and disorderly conduct.

Lyons is charged federally in the U.S. Capitol case.

Chaos at the Capitol: Minute-by-minute video shows how riots, violence unfolded


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"Unfortunately, we can now add Jan. 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy," said Sen. Chuck Schumer. See how things escalated in our minute-by-minute video as chaos erupted.



"I'm sure you'll see a lot more arrests leading up to an inauguration day," former Chicago Police deputy chief Steve Georgas told the I-Team. Georgas oversaw large-scale events including the violent NATO protest in 2012. He says intelligence failures are always the greatest fear. "It's just worrying about what they don't know that's out there."

Illinois National Guard members loaded up gear Thursday morning in Peoria and flew to Washington on a military cargo plane to assist law enforcement. Twenty-one thousand soldiers and National Guard are due in D.C. That is about five times the number of American service members currently in Afghanistan.

Georgas says the manpower and metal fencing in Washington will be more than enough to protect a long-planned, designated National Security Event such as the Inauguration. He is more uneasy about the rest of the country, from Chicago to Springfield and the thousands of locations coast-to-coast that won't have multiple perimeters and battalions of reinforcements. He says CPD will be fine but armed militia groups can change the dynamics quickly for law enforcement.
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