The planning and push to secure Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris include the vetting of those employed to keep them safe.
U.S. defense officials have expressed deep concerns about a possible insider attack and threat from service members in the wake of this month’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, The Associated Press reported Monday.
The FBI has vetted all of the 25,000 National Guard troops expected in the nation’s capital for the inauguration, AP reported.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said officials are conscious of the potential threat, and he warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches.
“We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,” McCarthy told AP after he and other military leaders went through an exhaustive, three-hour security drill in preparation for Wednesday’s inauguration.
About 25,000 members of the National Guard are expected in Washington from across the country — at least two and a half times the number for previous inaugurals.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has urged law enforcement to vigilantly work to sniff out potential violent plots by insurrectionists and other nefarious actors.
The mayor, concerned about possible attempts to disrupt the inauguration, has demanded unprecedented protection for the event.
“Homeland Security must adjust its approach to the inauguration in several specific ways,” Bowser wrote in a letter this month to the head of the Department of Homeland Security. “There must be a federal force deployment [plan] for all U.S. government property.”