The FBI is screening National Guard troops going to Washington in massive numbers for tomorrow's inauguation of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, over fears of insider threats at the event.
On Sunday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told the Associated Press that following the Capitol Hill riot on January 6, the authorities fear potential threats, and commanders have been instructed to watch out for any problems among their troops.
Additionally, the members of the National Guard are trained on how to find any threats within their ranks.
After visiting a three-hour security drill for Joe Biden’s inauguration, Ryan McCarthy said that the FBI’s screening has not faced any issues with it and there is no proof of any insider attacks so far.
The Army Secretary confirmed that they are ”continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation”, however, the question is “is that all of them?” and “Are there others?”
The Army makes regular checks if its members are linked to extremism, however, the FBI is screening the ones who will guard the Capitol and Biden as an additional precaution.
The ex-FBI national security supervisor David Gomez told the AP that they would run the names through their databases to find any disturbing facts, as well as investigation or terrorism-related issues involvement.
The US Army stated that it is cooperating with the Secret Service "to determine which service members supporting the national special security event for the Inauguration require additional background screening" and provide the soldiers additional training to immediately report "if they see or hear something that is not appropriate."
Approximately 25,000 National Guard troops are expected to go to Washington for the President-elect’s inauguration, which is double when compared to the number at previous inaugurations.
According to the Army secretary, the major security concerns are potential riots or explosives being set, however, the authorities want to show the world that the ceremony can be done “safely and peacefully.”