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world
Wednesday Jan 20 2021
By
Reuters

Dozen US National Guard troops removed from duty after scrutiny ahead of inaugural ceremony

By
Reuters
National Guard is expected to only support law enforcement but some are available to be deputised if needed. Photo Courtesy: Guardian
  • A Pentagon spokesperson said the vetting went beyond ties to extremist groups.
  • The vetting has been going on since last week.
  • FBI is also working to see if any current service members took part in the January 6 riots.


Pentagon officials on Tuesday said that a dozen members of the US National Guard have been removed ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inaugural ceremony after tight scrutiny, which included screening for potential ties to right-wing extremism.

A Pentagon spokesperson said the vetting went beyond ties to extremist groups. One Guard member was removed from duty after troubling text messages and another had been reported to a tip line, Army General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters.

Read more: FBI screens troops ahead of Biden’s inauguration to ensure top security

“We are, out of an abundance of caution, taking action and immediately removing them from the line of duty at the Capitol and the events taking place,” said Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.

On Sunday, acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said the FBI was assisting the US military in vetting more than 25,000 National Guard troops being deployed to assist in protecting the US Capitol for potential security concerns ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration of Biden.

Read more: Trump’s last day: Ivanka gets emotional on leaving White House

The vetting has been going on since last week, and the FBI is also working to see if any current service members took part in the January 6 riot at the US Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Last week, the Virginia National Guard said that Jacob Fracker, an off-duty police officer charged in connection with the violent riots at the Capitol, was a corporal in the state’s Guard and serves as an infantryman.