Extra checks are being done by the FBI to confirm there are no concerns over the thousands of personnel who will be protecting the event
Fears about a potential insider attack during Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration have prompted the FBI to conduct a vetting procedure on all 25,000 National Guard troops who will be on duty at the monumental event.
Federal officials are taking “second, third looks at every one of the individuals”, said the US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.
National Guard members are also getting specialised training on how to identify potential insider threats, but Mr McCarthy has said that they have not found anything of concern so far.
This comes after the House of Representatives has impeached President Donald Trump, accusing him of encouraging violence after his false claims of election fraud during the US Presidential election.
The US National Guard have been arriving in Washington DC to help protect the inauguration amid concerns that there could be further violence following the insurrection at the US Capitol two weeks ago.
The number of military troops flooding into the city is at least two-and-a-half times more than that of any previous Presidential inaugurations.
This comes after the FBI had said last week that it had separately identified over 200 suspects threatening violence at the inauguration ceremony and had picked up an “extensive amount of concerning online chatter”.
Members of the military are routinely being checked for extremist links, but the screening from the FBI is an extra layer on top of that and shows the meticulous planning that is going ahead to secure the event.
The majority of the National Guard on duty for Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration will be armed. Officials have told the AP news agency that the task had started over a week ago and is scheduled to be done by Wednesday, when former Vice-President Biden is sworn in.
The FBI has warned of possible armed protests planned for Washington DC and all 50 US state capitals in the days before Joe Biden, a Democrat, is inaugurated as the new US president.
“We need to be conscious of it and we need to put all of the mechanisms in place to thoroughly vet these men and women who would support any operations like this,” said Mr McCarthy.
He added that some members of the United States military were among those in the crowd on the day of the Capitol Hill riot but it is yet unclear of how many were involved in the violent storming of the US Capitol building.
So far only a few current US service members or National Guard personnel have been arrested in connection with the Capitol violence.
On Sunday, Washington police, military and National Guard staff were involved in a security rehearsal, with the leaders of each body lining tables around a large colour-coded map of Washington DC.