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Sunday, June 26, 2022

FBI Vetting National Guard Troops Ahead of Inauguration

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Even prior to the Capitol attack on January 6, the FBI had received numerous threats to national security. There have been tips on protests that are to be held for Biden’s inauguration in every capital city in each of the 50 states.

Defense officials are now worried about potential inside threats coming from service members. In order to counteract this, the FBI is vetting all service members who will be stationed in the capital for the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden. There will be 25,000 National Guard troops on duty at the inauguration and they are getting background checks and “second, third looks at every one of the individuals,” as Ryan McCarthy, US Army Secretary said in a statement on Sunday.

Members of the National Guard are also being trained to spot potential internal threats, however, McCarthy pointed out there have been no irregularities so far in the vetting process.

Although the military conducts regular background checks for potential extremist links, the FBI has been performing additional screening of the troops who have started deploying in DC more than a week ago. The vetting process should be completed by Wednesday, just in time for the inauguration.

During the Capitol siege, there were two off-duty police officers who were later identified as participating in the riot. One of the officers is a National Guard corporal, causing investigations and reviews of members of the military and law enforcement. Capitol police announced last week that they have suspended “several” of their members, and are investigating at least 10 officers for their involvement in the siege.

The FBI has identified more than 200 suspects who threatened the security of the presidential inauguration, hence the number of troops present at this year’s inauguration will be more than double that of previous swearing into office ceremonies. Members of far-right extremist groups are being monitored and the FBI has reported an “extensive amount of concerning online chatter.”

Two people have already been arrested in security checkpoints set up in Washington, and airlines are not allowing any guns aboard flights to the capital.

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