US defense officials fear insider attack on Biden inauguration

US defense officials fear insider attack on Biden inauguration
National Guard troops reinforce security around the U.S. Capitol ahead of expected. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: US defense officials say they are feared about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, prompting the FBI to vet all 25,000 national guard troops coming into Washington DC for the event.

The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped the nation’s capital following the deadly 6 January riot in US Capitol by a mob incited by President Donald Trump. And it underscores fears that some of the very people (service members) assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to Joe Biden and other VIPs.

Army secretary Ryan McCarthy said officials were conscious about the potential threat, and warned commanders to be on the lookout for problems within their ranks. He and other leaders say, so far, they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting had not flagged any issues that they were aware of.

McCarthy said: “We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation.”

Members were also getting training on how to identify potential insider attack and threats, he said.

About 25,000 service members of the guard are streaming into the nation’s capital from across the country – at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals.

And while the military authorities routinely reviews service members for extremist connections, the FBI vetting is in addition to any previous monitoring.

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