Security concerns uncovered by law enforcement officials have resulted in at least a dozen National Guard soldiers being removed from security duties before Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joseph R. Biden in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, officials at the Pentagon said at least two of them were found to have made “inappropriate comments or texts” on social media that were flagged and reported to National Guard headquarters.
“We work very closely with law enforcement. Out of an abundance of caution, we automatically pull those personnel off the line,” said Army Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, head of the National Guard Bureau and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Officials wouldn’t confirm the exact nature of the concerns that resulted in the 12 soldiers being removed from security assignment and, in some cases, returned home.
“We are not saying that all are being pulled for ties to extremist militias,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said. “We’re not just looking for ties to one particular threat stream.”
Investigations into what prompted the flags from law enforcement officials will continue afterwards, officials said.
“We’re not taking any chances,” Mr. Hoffman said. “They’re being removed from the line, and we’ll ask questions later.”
At least 25,000 National Guard troops were sent to Washington to provide added security following a Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters. The Guard members are providing security, communications and logistics support to the operation.
“I visit with these men and women every night. They have met every request promptly and professionally,” Gen. Hokanson said.
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