At least 20,000 members of the U.S. National Guard are being mobilized to secure the Wednesday inauguration of Joe Biden.
Increased alertness to security threats comes as a response to the Capitol events from January 6th in which five people were killed during the storming on the Congress building carried out by protesters.
In light of these events, the FBI estimates that there is an increased probability that certain far-right groups will try to prevent the inauguration of Biden.
Some preemptive measures to be taken include the closure of bridges leading to Washington, D.C., the suspension of all Airbnb reservations in the area, and the ban on all firearms by major national airlines.
FBI is doing background checks of National Guard members
Regardless of that, some estimates show that between 2,000 and 80,000 people are expected to participate in protests against Biden.
The fact that National Guard members are being deployed fully equipped (including helmets) suggests that the authorities took the potential security risks seriously.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said that National Guard members might be allowed to carry weapons during the inauguration.
FBI also started checking National Guard members to avert the possibility of an internal attack.
Given the fact that some members of the Army were seen on Capitol protests, there is certainly an element of risk that some members of the National Guard may engage in a revolt against the new administration.
McCarthy said that each member of the National Guard who will secure the inauguration is being checked several times and that, fortunately, no threats were identified so far.
The process involves the utilization of a database that consists of information about names and tracking of each member of the personnel.
National Guard already used weapons against demonstrates
If the National Guard decides to use fire, it will not be the first time they did so.
Particularly memorable is the event from May 4, 1970, when members of the Ohio National Guard fired into the crowd of Kent State University students who demonstrated against the Vietnam War.
Four students were killed and nine injured as a result of the shooting.
It is also worth noting that President Trump himself authorized the presence of the National Guard during the inauguration of his successor.
This is a clear sign that the leaving president does not want to be associated with any protestors that might engage in violence on Wednesday.
From the standpoint of further growth of his support base, this seems to be a more viable strategy than the one that resorts to violence.