U.S. security officials say they are taking every precaution to guard against an attack on President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, including FBI security screening of the 25,000 members of the National Guard assigned to Washington to protect the event.
“While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital,” acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said in a statement.
He said the troops are being given extra training as they arrive in Washington and told “that if they see or hear something that is not appropriate, they should report it to their chain of command.”
U.S. intelligence reports have suggested that some protesters holding on to the belief that outgoing President Donald Trump was cheated out of reelection might try to disrupt Biden’s swearing-in ceremony and inaugural celebration.
The inaugural site is encircled in tall fencing topped with concertina wire, a much more pronounced show of security than has been common at past quadrennial inaugurations.
Security is a bigger focus than usual, with the inauguration coming two weeks after thousands of supporters of Trump stormed the domed Capitol after he urged them to march to the building as lawmakers met to certify Biden’s victory.