Social media conversations ‘go a long way’ in proving intent of Capitol rioters: Ex-US AG
Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales predicts ‘successful charges and prosecutions’ against most Capitol rioters. He also argues that ‘abuse’ of social media platforms ‘can lead to deadly results.’
Airbnb has a seven-step "Capitol Safety Plan" to help protect the greater Washington metro area ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony on Jan. 20.
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The plan is a response to the riot caused by pro-Trump supporters who breached the U.S. Capitol last week in an effort to overturn Congress' Electoral College vote certification.
FACEBOOK TO REMOVE ALL 'STOP THE STEAL' CONTENT AHEAD OF BIDEN INAUGURATION
Airbnb will ban any people from its platform who are confirmed to be involved in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by media or law enforcement sources. The rental company is cross-referencing with the Metro Police's arrest logs to determine whether people involved in the Jan. 6 riot have an account on its platform.
The company is also conducting a review of reservations in the D.C. metropolitan area and will cancel the reservations of any guest on the platform who is associated with a hate group, such as the Proud Boys, or not allowed on the platform for violating community policies prohibiting violence or engaging in criminal activity.
All U.S. residents looking to book an Airbnb listing will now also be required to verify their identity using a government ID. In addition, Airbnb may re-run background checks already conducted on U.S. guests when they first use the platform or make an assessment based on other publicly available sources or databases if additional information comes to light under the Capitol Safety Plan.
If the company learns that a user or their guests are members of hate groups, planning violence or violating Airbnb's policies or terms of service, the company warned it could potentially take legal action against those people.
AIRBNB CANCELED RESERVATIONS CONNECTED TO DOMESTIC TERRORISTS, HATE GROUPS AHEAD OF CAPITOL RIOTING
Airbnb noted that reservations and accounts associated with hate groups, including the Proud Boys, were already removed from the platform prior to the Capitol riot and members are continuously being removed on an ongoing basis.
Hosts who believe their guests are violating the company's policies under the Capitol Safety Plan can reach trained crisis staff by calling Airbnb's Urgent Safety Hotline. In addition, Airbnb has a 24/7 neighbor support line at airbnb.com/neighbors to connect with Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland neighbors directly if they need to bring issues with reservations to the company's attention.
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Airbnb's latest effort comes as Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told Congressman Jason Crow, D-Colo., in a call on Sunday that the Department of Defense is "aware of further possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the days up to and including Inauguration Day" and that the agency is working with local and federal law enforcement. At least 25 domestic terrorism cases have been opened as a result of the attack.
Crow requested a review of troops to ensure that members deployed to the inauguration are not "sympathetic to domestic terrorists." McCarthy has agreed to take additional measures and noted that he is willing to publicly testify on the events leading up to and following the Capitol riot as well as security preparations for the inauguration.
In addition, Fox News has learned that an internal FBI memo is warning of plans for armed protests in all 50 state capital cities ahead of Biden’s Inauguration. The memo notes that the protests could be staged before, on or after Inauguration Day, according to a federal law enforcement source.
The FBI told Fox News that the agency's efforts are focused on "identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity."
"As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights," the FBI added. "Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property."
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Washington police said the riot at the Capitol resulted in five deaths — including a Capitol Police officer and a woman who was shot inside the building — and at least 70 arrests. The Justice Department has charged more than a dozen people involved in the riots, and dozens more have been charged in Superior Court in Washington with unlawful entry, curfew violations and firearms-related crimes.
Fox News' Brooke Singman and Bradford Betz contributed to this report
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