Two National Guardsmen Removed From Biden Inauguration Security For Far Right Militia Ties
Two members of the US Army National Guard are being removed from Joe Biden’s inauguration security detail due to ties to right-wing militias.
The president-elect will enter office tomorrow, January 20. Donald Trump will not attend the ceremony alongside Biden’s family and other former presidents and first ladies, in the fallout of the deadly Capitol riots for which he was impeached for inciting.
According to US Army official and a senior intelligence official, the two National Guard members had been found to have connections to ‘fringe right group militias’. The specific groups have not been disclosed.
As reported by AP, no plot against Biden or any plans to disrupt the inauguration was found. The two officials had spoken to the outlet on the condition of remaining anonymous due to the Defense Department’s media regulations.
The National Guard Bureau earlier referred questions to the Secret Service, responding: ‘Due to operational security, we do not discuss the process nor the outcome of the vetting process for military members supporting the inauguration.’
Following the pro-Trump siege at the US Capitol on January 6, the FBI has been vetting thousands of military personnel tasked with protecting Joe Biden and those present at the inauguration, fearing an insider attack. Other security measures have also been implemented in Washington DC, such as razor wire and large fences.
In a statement, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller explained: ‘This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case the scope of military participation is unique.’
He continued: ‘The DC National Guard is also providing additional training to service members as they arrive in DC that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command.’
Miller added: ‘While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital… we appreciate the support of the FBI in assisting with this task and for each of the more than 25,000 Guardsmen who answered their nation’s call and rapidly deployed to the NCR.’
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy also said, as per The Guardian: ‘We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation. 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.’
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