The Army is Working with Secret Service in Preparation for Upcoming Inauguration
Photo by Aaron-Schwartz
Despite the military’s efforts to check for members’ linked to extremism, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now screening National Guard members who are slated to protect the Capitol and Biden in the upcoming inauguration.
To vet guard members, the FBI will run names through the bureau’s databases and watchlists to find any concerning associations, including involvement in investigations or terrorism-related issues, David Gomez, a former FBI national security supervisor in Seattle, told AP News.
In a statement to The Hill, the Army said it is working with the Secret Service “to determine which service members supporting the national special security event for the Inauguration require additional background screening.”
“The D.C. National Guard is also providing additional training to service members as they arrive in D.C. that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command,” the statement said.
“There is no place for extremism in the military and we will investigate each report individually and take appropriate action.”
The statement went on to discuss ties the Army has with the FBI and their plan of action.
“The Army is committed to working closely with the FBI as they identify people who participated in the violent attack on the Capitol to determine if the individuals have any connection to the Army.”
The attacks on Jan. 6 left U.S. defense officials questioning whether a potential insider attack is possible.
The FBI was pushed to vet all 25,000 National Guard troops entering the area.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said in a statement Monday that vetting of National Guard troops continues and the Pentagon has found no intelligence so far that would indicate an insider threat.
Despite the statement made by Miller, the Secret Service issued a bulletin over the weekend about what it sees as an “uptick” in National Guard troops posting pictures and details of their operations online.
The Associated Press obtained a bulletin outlining a set of rules the Guard “all concerned” message sent to all the National Guard troops coming to Washington.
The bulletin said “No service members should be posting locations, pictures or descriptions online regarding current operations or the sensitive sites they are protecting” and urged them to stop immediately.
Asked about the bulletin, a spokesperson for the Secret Service issued a statement saying it “does not comment on matters of protective intelligence.”