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WASHINGTON (GLM)- Twelve members of the U.S. Army National Guard have been removed from the contingent that will be in charge of security during Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony as president, due to ties to far-right militias, official sources reported. They clarified that there is no threat against Biden.
The information was supplied by an Army source and an intelligence official, who asked not to be identified due to the Department of Defense regulations on statements to the press.
The sources did not detail in which unit the individuals are serving, or what far-right militia they belonged to.
The decision comes as the FBI is vetting all 25,000 National Guard personnel who will protect Wednesday’s ceremony. The US authorities have mentioned the possibility of an internal threat, following the assault on the Capitol launched on January 6 by fanatical supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said in a statement Monday that he is continuing the process of background checks on National Guard troops, and that there is no evidence of any threat against Biden so far.
Nervousness reigns in Washington these days, since the assault on the Capitol, an event that has led to intense security measures throughout the capital. On Monday a fire broke out in a homeless camp near the legislature, leading to the evacuation of those present and interrupting a rehearsal for the inauguration.
The Secret Service tightened security measures several days earlier than normal, and downtown Washington is indeed under police control, with closed streets, intermittent barriers and thousands of police and soldiers patrolling the area.
The authorities at the same time have expressed nervousness over the increase in reports from members of the National Guard and the police that they are being photographed or filmed. The Secret Service has reported an increase in the number of messages on the Internet by National Guards that share data on their location and preparations.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of a message broadcast by all National Guard personnel, stating: “No Service personnel should be sharing locations, photos or descriptions of current operations or important facilities they are protecting on the internet.”
When asked about it on Tuesday by The Associated Press, the National Guard referred all questions to the Secret Service, stating: “For operational security reasons, we do not speak about the content or the result of the investigation process to members of the armed forces who they participate in the security of the inauguration ”. The Secret Service is a federal agency under the supervision of the United States Department of Homeland Security that, among other functions, protects the integrity of the president, vice president, former presidents, and their close family members.
The Secret Service had told the AP on Monday it would not comment on whether any member of the National Guard has been excluded from security measures surrounding the inauguration.
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