WASHINGTON (AP/WNCN) – Two U.S. Army National Guard members are being removed from the security mission to secure Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. A U.S. Army official and a senior U.S. intelligence official said the guardsmen were found to have ties to “fringe right group militias.”
No plot against Biden was found.
The Army official and the intelligence official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity due to Defense Department media regulations. They did not say what fringe group the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in.
Contacted by the AP on Tuesday, the National Guard Bureau referred questions to the U.S. Secret Service and said, “Due to operational security, we do not discuss the process nor the outcome of the vetting process for military members supporting the inauguration.”
The Secret Service told the AP on Monday it would not comment on if any National Guard members had been pulled from securing the inauguration for operational security reasons.
Earlier in the week, U.S. defense officials said they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.
The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.
And it underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.