Enhanced background screenings conducted by the FBI have discovered possible ties between active National Guards troops and right-wing extremist groups. As NBC 4 reported, DC officials have launched open investigations after learning about the possible insider threats.
“People who had preliminary background checks had some type of ties to right-wing extremism,” a representative of the district’s Department of Homeland Security disclosed, noting he was unable to provide any further information.
The discovery comes hours after the FBI announced they were vetting guardsmen deployed to secure the nation’s capital ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.
At the time, Major General William Walker told “Good Morning America” that they were conducting enhanced background screenings and would provide credentials to soldiers, guardsmen and airmen once FBI and secret service agents were “certain that there’s no insider threat.”
As the government agency conducted their investigations, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller assured Americans that there was no indication of insider attacks, adding that the screenings would continue for safety purposes.
“As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C. While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital,” Miller previously wrote. “This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case, the scope of military participation is unique.”
The deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol allegedly took place after the former police chief’s requests to keep guardsmen on standby were rejected.
“If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” Steven Sund told The Washington Post.
This time around, however, officials have taken measures to prevent further attacks, especially as Joe Biden’s inauguration approaches. Over 10,000 National Guard troops have been stationed in DC to help local law enforcement.