The Federal Bureau of Investigations is carrying out checks on thousands of military personnel guarding Joe Biden’s inauguration as US president on Wednesday amidst fears of attacks by pro-Trump loyalists.
Identifying Potential Threats
National Guard personnel hold the job on a part-time basis while holding civilian jobs or studying in college. About 25,000 members have been pouring into Washington at short notice, from all across the country. This number is more than double the number at previous inaugurations.
However, according to the Associated Press, there are fears that some of these people that have been delegated the task of protecting the city could pose a threat to the president-elect and other dignitaries. Their names will be passed through an FBI Database in search of any evidence of connections to terrorism, investigations and other red flags.
The army secretary, Ryan McCarthy, assured the Associated Press that guard members were receiving training on how to identify potential insider threats, even though there’s no evidence of this.
Playing Down Fears
The national guard has moved to play down fears of domestic terrorism in its ranks. Commanding general of the DC national guard, Maj Gen William Walker, said in an interview with MSNBC: “I don’t have any concerns because it’s a layered scrub. The FBI is scrubbing, the Secret Service gives out the credentials, and then we have other agencies helping with the scrub as well. We really are pretty sure that we know who is out here supporting us.”
Nevertheless, Washington remains on high alert amid fears of attack by white supremacists, far-right militias and other radical groups backed by Trump’s assertions that the elections were rigged. Trump’s claims have been repeatedly debunked and rejected by the US Department of Justice and Republican election officials in battleground states. His numerous suits challenging the outcome of the elections has also been repeatedly thrown out of court.