BREAKING NEWS: Defense officials fear possible INSIDE attack at Biden’s inauguration and will vet all 25,000 National Guard troops stationed in the Capitol
- Defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack at the inauguration
- It has prompted the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops
- Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said officials are conscious of potential threat
Daily Mail: U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.
The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.
It also underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.
About 25,000 members of the National Guard are streaming into Washington from across the country – at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals. And while the military routinely reviews service members for extremist connections, the FBI screening is in addition to any previous monitoring.
‘The question is, is that all of them? Are there others?’ said McCarthy. ‘We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this.’
In a situation like this one, FBI vetting would involve running peoples’ names through databases and watchlists maintained by the bureau to see if anything alarming comes up.
That could include involvement in prior investigations or terrorism-related concerns, said David Gomez, a former FBI national security supervisor in Seattle.
Insider threats have been a persistent law enforcement priority in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks. But in most cases, the threats are from homegrown insurgents radicalized by al-Qaida, the Islamic State group or similar groups.
In contrast, the threats against Biden´s inauguration have been fueled by supporters of President Donald Trump, far-right militants, white supremacists and other radical groups.