Home Army Technology Officials Raise Alarm About Insider Attack At Biden Inauguration, FBI Screens National Guard Troops In D.C. – Forbes

Officials Raise Alarm About Insider Attack At Biden Inauguration, FBI Screens National Guard Troops In D.C. – Forbes

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is vetting all of the 25,000 National Guard troops who will be stationed in Washington D.C. for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration after defense officials expressed concerns about a possible insider threat from among the troops, the Associated Press reported, highlighting a tense lead up to Wednesday’s event which comes two weeks after violence erupted in the Capitol.

Key Facts

According to the Associated Press, military officials are conscious of the potential threat and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks.

No evidence of any threats have been seen so far and the vetting hasn’t yet flagged any issues the officials aren’t aware of, the report added.

McCarthy noted that they are taking “second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” and the troops are also being trained on how to identify potential insider threats.

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said in a statement Monday that there’s “no intelligence indicating an insider threat,” and that troops are being vetted “as is normal for military support to large security events.” 

Tangent

Last week, Jacob Fracker, a corporal in the Virginia National Guard, was the first known active military personnel to be arrested for participating in the violent insurrection at the Capitol on January 6. Apart from Fracker, the Capitol-invading mob also had several active law enforcement officers and retired military members, some of whom have also been arrested. One of the five people killed during the incident, Ashli Babbitt, was an air force veteran.

Crucial Quote

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, adding that President-elect Biden would soon 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 unusual letter was seen as an effort to remain apolitical amid calls for martial law by President Donald Trump’s supporters attempting to overturn the election results.

Key Background

The troop presence in the U.S. capital is at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurations, a move prompted by the violence on January 6. Areas around the Capitol have been blocked off by barricades, and the National Mall has been closed to the public, amid security concerns of an attack by armed groups, as well as planted improvised explosive devices. Intelligence reports have also pointed to groups organizing armed rallies leading up to Inauguration Day, and possibly after that. The tense security situation has been created as Trump has refused to fully acknowledge his electoral defeat to Biden, repeatedly claiming without evidence that the election was stolen from him.

Further Reading

FBI vetting Guard troops in DC amid fears of insider attack (Associated Press)

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