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The entrance to the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York. Photo: Eduardo Munoz/AFP

All federal prisons have been placed on lockdown "in light of current events" across the U.S. and out an "abundance of caution," the Federal Bureau of Prisons announced Saturday.

Why it matters: The move comes just days after the FBI warned law enforcement agencies nationwide that armed protests were being planned in all 50 states in the lead up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

  • The bureau is moving some of its Special Operations Response Teams to Washington, D.C., to help with security after President Trump’s supporters stormed the capital on Jan. 6, AP noted.

What they're saying: "We recognize that this pandemic has placed a heavy burden on inmates and their families in terms of limited movement and the public's restrictions in being able to freely visit with loved ones. However, in light of current events occurring around the country, and out of an abundance of caution, the decision has been made to secure all institutions," BOP said in a news release.

  • "There is no specific information that triggered this decision. This action is precautionary, and is not in response to any significant events occurring inside our facilities," it added.

Inmates received a letter informing them of the lockdown, according to the Marshall Project's Keri Blakinger.

  • “I am writing this letter to inform you effective Saturday, January 16, 2021, you will be secured in your assigned cells/quarters for precautionary reasons,” the letter from BOP director M.D. Carvajal said, per Blakinger.
  • “We will continue to monitor events carefully and will adjust operations accordingly as the situation to evolve."

Flashback: BOP imposed a lockdown last June following countrywide unrest after the police killing of George Floyd.

  • For much of the last year, the BOP has also been "operating under a modified operational model to promote social distancing and mitigate the spread of COVID-19."

Go deeper

Jan 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House panels reviewing what intel agencies knew before deadly Capitol siege

A man calls on people to raid the building as Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images.

The House Intelligence, Oversight, Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have opened a review of the events and intelligence surrounding the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol and other threats to the peaceful transfer of power, the panels said in a letter to federal intelligence agencies Saturday.

Why it matters: Law enforcement and intelligence agencies have faced sharp criticism for not being better prepared for the Capitol riot, despite reports that far-right Trump supporters discussed the idea of a violent protest on social media and chat platforms in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 event.

27 mins ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  2. Politics: Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  3. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses.
  4. Business: Firms develop new ways to inoculate the public.
  5. Local: Ultra-rich Florida community got vaccinations in January.