US defense officials fear insider attack on Biden inauguration

  • Authorities will ‘thoroughly vet’ national guard troops
  • Pro-Trump Capitol attack on 6 January left five dead
  • Washington prepares for an inauguration under siege

US defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, prompting the FBI to vet all 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.  

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The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol by rioters incited by Donald Trump. 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.  

Army secretary Ryan McCarthy said officials were conscious of the potential threat, and warned commanders to be on the lookout for problems within their ranks. So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn’t flagged any issues that they were aware of.

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