From the moment that a violent mob stormed the US Capitol one week ago, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been concerned about the potential for another such attack.
In fact, the Bureau has circulated internal copy that suggests that the inauguration of Joe Biden may be a potential target for another such insurrection, forcing local leaders to ask that no one travel to Washington DC for the event.
Furthermore, elected officials are asking the National Guard to step in and help keep the city safe…and that they be armed.
National Guard members supporting US Capitol security in Washington, DC, ahead of Inauguration Day will be armed, the Department of Defense announced Tuesday.
The decision comes as law enforcement in the nation’s capital and around the country brace for more extremist violence after the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol last week.
The first wave of National Guard troops who arrived at the Capitol were unarmed, and the Army has been reviewing whether National Guardsmen should be armed for the inauguration with lethal or nonlethal weapons.
Capt. Chelsi Johnson, spokesperson for the DC National Guard, said in a statement to CNN that the move was requested by federal authorities and authorized by Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy.
“National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” Johnson said.
Photos of the Guard occupying the Capitol, sleeping on the cold marble floors were soon making their way around social media.
I spotted the National Guard sleeping in the hallways of the Capitol as I walked in this morning. pic.twitter.com/PzVpQCo5yU
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 13, 2021
The Speaker of the House thanks the men and women of the National Guard for protecting the U.S. Capitol. pic.twitter.com/QwZlpeAWPp
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) January 13, 2021
Well this is something I thought I’d never see. National Guard members getting rest in the Capitol, guns by their sides, under the busts of Lincoln and Washington. pic.twitter.com/CVDshN76eY
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021
According to the FBI, there are threats not only to the US Capitol surrounding the Biden inauguration, but also to local statehouses as well – an issue that could stretch the National Guard thin.