Walz activates National Guard to respond to state Capitol threats

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA -- A security fence is in place around the Minnesota State Capitol building. Photographed on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. The fence was installed during the civil unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd. (John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard Wednesday in response to threats of violence at the state Capitol. 

The Guard will assist state and local law enforcement in public safety efforts in St. Paul over the next several days, the governor’s office said in a news release. The release did not say how many soldiers have been called up.  

A fence has remained around the state Capitol since last summer’s unrest. The Minnesota state Patrol has also increased its presence at the Capitol to respond to various threats and prevent unlawful entry into the building, according to the release. 

The FBI has warned that the Minnesota State Capitol is among the targets of a far-right extremist group called the Boogaloo movement. Federal agents said in a Dec. 29 memo that members of the group had scoped out he building. While the group had no specific attack plans, it was prepared to commit violence if a fight broke out at a planned Jan. 17 rally, the FBI said.

The Guard will be activated until Jan. 27, unless Walz determines their resources are no longer needed before that date.