Defense officials are worried about a potential insider attack by service members who are in DC to ensure the security of Biden’s inauguration. The anxiety has caused the FBI to vet every one of the 25,000 troops that are in D.C. for the event.
The choice to use the National Guard was triggered by pro-Trump protests around and within the Capitol building. The possibility of some of the servicemen having been there during the protests is only adding to the anxiety of some officials.
This Sunday, Army official Ryan McCarthy told The AP that leaders know of the potential threat and warned commanders to pay attention to problems with their troops. But currently, leaders see no signs of any threats and the FBI’s vetting process has not uncovered any red flags.
“We’re continuing the process, and taking additional looks at every individual assigned to the event,” McCarthy said.
According to the AP:
Around 25,000 National Guard members are going into D.C. from around the nation — more than two times the amount of previous inaugurals. And while service members are already reviewed for extremist connections, officials at the FBI are screening them again.
Many leaders said the screening began as the troops started arriving in D.C. And they claimed it will be complete by this Wednesday.
In this type of situation, the FBI’s investigation would in tale “putting peoples names through watchlists and databases kept by the FBI to see if something alarming comes up,” according to The AP.
Previously, after 9/11, insider threats have taken priority for law enforcement. But they focused mostly on threats from Islamic terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS. But now, their focus is on far-right militants.
Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, who leads the National Guard Bureau, said he has talked to troops as they get to D.C. “If there’s any sign that any soldier has extremist views, it’s either given to law enforcement or worked on through the chain of command promptly,” he noted.
However, despite this, the AP said:
The major security worry is an attack by armed individuals, in addition to explosives. McCarthy claimed intel reports show that groups are organizing armed rallies leading into Inauguration Day, and potentially after that.
The majority of National Guard servicemen will be armed. And leaders say they are going through drills to practice the appropriate use of force and how to organize with police partners, who would make any possible arrests.
McCarthy said troops are “memorizing the map and working through situations with commanders so they know their goals, they know their possible paths, they know where they’re allied units are, they have the right ways to communicate with their police partners.”
Chances are, as we know, there will be no violence during Inauguration Day. While extremist groups like BLM and Antifa do exist, the powers that be are not concerned with them. Instead, they focus the narrative on conservatives. And if someone does get violent, regardless of who they are, we know conservatives will get the blame.