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The precaution comes after the Capitol insurrection turned out to have insider military ties
Ahead of the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is vetting all 25,000 National Guard troops who will be stationed in Washington, D.C. this week. The extra precaution comes after the violent insurrection in the Capitol ended up having insider military ties.
Officials have expressed concerns about the potential for an insider threat among the troops when it comes to Biden’s inauguration. And since it appears the inauguration won’t be held in a secure panic room with less than five people in attendance no matter how much we all wish it would be at this point, the vetting is necessary.
Defense officials tell AP they fear possible inside attack at inauguration and are having National Guard troops in DC vetted. https://t.co/8CMrpw8DlK
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 18, 2021
According to the Washington Post, a U.S. defense official — who chose to speak under the condition he remains anonymous — said the Army is working with the FBI to vet all service members supporting the inauguration. The Army is aware of valid threats, but could not speak on the actual domestic intelligence.
Security concerns over the inauguration following the violent events of Jan. 6 are extremely valid, because it was determined that people who were assigned to protect D.C. had a hand in allowing the insurrection to occur — from Capitol Police, to US troops, to members of Congress.
For the past week or so, images of thousands of troops in uniform have popped up showing the troops patrolling the streets of D.C.
Chief Lamont Ruffin from D.C. District Court swears in 2000 National Guard troops as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals prior to the upcoming presidential inauguration: https://t.co/vw5OC3maqV pic.twitter.com/oG6n1JgpiZ
— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) January 18, 2021
Many troops have been quartered inside the Capitol building since the insurrection to provide extra security.
Inside the Capitol this morning where Speaker Pelosi usually walks to her office. pic.twitter.com/BQIEf5b2s4
— Erin Schaff (@erinschaff) January 13, 2021
The commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, said in an interview with Defense One that the inauguration-related screening represented an “extra layer” of security for this deployment, on top of the continuous monitoring that the U.S. military does of its service members.
The Associated Press reports that the current troop presence in the U.S. capital is about two and a half times the number for previous presidential inaugurations, thanks to the violent attack on Jan. 6. Areas around the Capitol building have been blocked off by barricades. The National Mall has also been closed to the public since last week, due to security concerns of an attack by armed groups and planted improvised explosive devices.
Intelligence reports have shown organized groups plan to lead armed rallies this week and possibly after, as a direct result of Donald Trump’s intentional incitement of violent attacks after refusing to concede the election to Biden.
Here’s your first glimpse of what the #NationalMall will look like for Wednesday’s Inauguration of @joebiden: a sea of 200k US flags and state/territory flags. “All of it to show the American people that we're thinking about them in this time” – @moojv77. More on @cbsthismorning pic.twitter.com/rwHgW2tRGa
— Nancy Cordes (@nancycordes) January 18, 2021
His refusal to accept the results of a free and fair election, despite absolutely no proof of fraud, has led thousands of his supporters convinced that the election was “stolen” from him. This dangerous ideology based on lies led to the Capitol riots — for which Trump also refused to admit any wrongdoing.
Last week, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff signed a letter addressed to all U.S. military personnel, reminding them that their job was to support and defend the Constitution. Because regardless of how anyone may personally feel, President-elect Biden will be their next commander-in-chief.
“As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law,” the letter read.