Officials from the U.S. defense teams have just raised their concerns about a potential ‘insider attack’ on Capitol Hill, which might happen during Joe Biden’s upcoming inauguration as President.
This is in fact one of the main reasons why the FBI has taken the unprecedented decision to vet every National Guard troop coming to Washington for January 20th, summing up a total of 25,000 security team members.
Another reason for this historical task force mobilization is the Capitol Hill riot, which has been in essence a shocking lack of professionalism or preparedness on behalf of the local security teams.
This time, it seems like they won’t repeat their mistake. But is it enough?
Threats and fears ahead of a tense inaugural
With less than two days remaining until January 20th, all security teams are working to cover every possibility of a violent attack aimed at the Capitol Hill or, why not, our future President as well.
According to Ryan McCarthy, the Army Secretary, all security officials involved in the process are well aware of the potential threats that might turn into reality on Inauguration Day. Although they haven’t noticed any clear evidence of a planned attack, commanders must be on guard for any suspicious detail that might come up.
”We’re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation.” – Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy
Just to imagine the magnitude of this security effort, know that there are almost third times more security team members assigned for Wednesday than there were for previous inaugurals.
Sending so many security officials from across the country for Inauguration Day might also be an attempt to prove that our country’s security is, in fact, great (or at least much better than what we’ve witnessed on January 6th).
The FBI is a notable addition to the security scheme. Former FBI supervisor based in Seattle David Gomez explains that the bureau can instantly run people’s names through their watchlist and databases just in case anything suspicious comes up.
FBI officials have also recently read a bulletin saying that Trump’s supporters have been planning ‘armed protests’ across the country which are expected to peak on Inauguration Day (you can read the full statement right here). Whether these alleged threats will turn into reality, we’ll see; however, state officials seem to be more at peace now that security teams are beyond prepared.
‘The eye of a hurricane’
Minnesota senior member of Congress, U.S. Representative Betty McCollum, has spent the past few days struggling to get enough cots for the National Guardsmen who will sleep inside the U.S. Capitol. Not only is this the first time a Congress member is facing such a task, but it also reflects the chilling reality that we need thousands of guardsmen sleeping on the concrete floor of the U.S. Capitol just to feel safe.
This is sadly what it’s come to.
McCollum describes the situation with a chilling comparison:
‘I feel like I am in the eye of a hurricane.’
So do we all, as we’re heading towards an uncertain future (coming from an even more unstable past).
What used to be an occasion to celebrate and march along the streets of our Capital now feels like a cocktail of negative emotions and fear of the unknown mixed with the relief that the Trump era is coming to an end.
But one end is only another beginning – and we still don’t know what to expect from the next four years governed by Joe Biden. Either way, it doesn’t seem nearly as tragic and unpredictable as the past four years have been. Biden seems to care about public health care and scientific facts – and that alone is major progress.