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FBI headquarters in Washington is open as usual

June 16, 2021 GMT

CLAIM: The FBI headquarters building in Washington is completely closed, empty and walled off.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The building is open and fully operational, according to a statement from the FBI. A video spreading the false claim shows the back of the building rather than the main entrance, which is open.

THE FACTS: A video circulating widely on messaging apps, social platforms and conservative websites this week is falsely claiming the FBI has closed and boarded up its headquarters in the nation’s capital.

The 30-second video, posted Monday on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, shows a view of the FBI headquarters, also known as the J. Edgar Hoover Building, from E Street NW in Washington. A narrator identifies the date as June 14, then claims the building is “completely closed.”

“No one’s in there,” the narrator says. “In fact, it’s even walled off. You can’t even get inside.”

The bogus claim has spread to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and other platforms, with users speculating that the federal government is shutting down buildings in preparation for some kind of large-scale event or attack. There’s no evidence this is the case.

In reality, the FBI headquarters building is open and operating as usual, the agency told the AP.

“The FBI Headquarters building at 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW is open and fully operational, as are all of our field offices,” the FBI said in an emailed statement.

An AP reporter who works near the building confirmed that people have been entering and leaving the building all week, including on Monday, when the video was filmed.

The main entrance to the building is located along Pennsylvania Avenue, not E Street NW, where the video was filmed.

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This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536