Acting Defense Secretary says there is 'no intelligence of insider threat to the inauguration' but 25,000 troops are still being vetted before it

 The Acting US Secretary of Defense said on Monday there was no intelligence to indicate an insider threat to Joe Biden's inauguration but that troops were still being vetted before the event. 

Christopher C. Miller said in a statement released by the Defense Department on Monday afternoon: 'As is normal for military support to large security events, the Department will vet National Guardsmen who are in Washington, D.C.

'While we have no intelligence indicating an insider threat, we are leaving no stone unturned in securing the capital. 

'This type of vetting often takes place by law enforcement for significant security events. However, in this case the scope of military participation is unique.' 

His comments contradict remarks given on Sunday by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who has told commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. 

Some 25,000 National Guardsmen are being brought to DC to protect the event. It comes as more and more people - including law enforcement officers and military personnel - are arrested over the January 6 riot at the Capitol.  

National Guard troops near the fence line around the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, USA, 18 January 2021

National Guard troops near the fence line around the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, USA, 18 January 2021

Members of the US National Guard leave the US Capitol to take positions outside after an "external security threat" prior to a dress rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, at the US Capitol on January 18, 2021 in Washington, DC

Members of the US National Guard leave the US Capitol to take positions outside after an "external security threat" prior to a dress rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, at the US Capitol on January 18, 2021 in Washington, DC

Members of the National Guard cross a street in Washington, DC on January 18, 2021, as security has been tightened ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden as the next US president

Members of the National Guard cross a street in Washington, DC on January 18, 2021, as security has been tightened ahead of the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden as the next US president

Preparations take place before a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Preparations take place before a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 

Earlier on Monday, a rehearsal for the inauguration had to be called off and everyone in attendance evacuated earlier in the day due to an 'external security threat' that turned out to be a fire started by a homeless woman under a nearby bridge. 

Acting US Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said on Monday there was 'no intelligence' of a threat

Acting US Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said on Monday there was 'no intelligence' of a threat

Military personnel and staffers ran from the temporary seating on the Capitol Building's West Front while an evacuation warning played in the background shortly after an 'explosion' was heard at around 10.30am. 

As they panicked and ran for cover, plumes of smoke rose above the Capitol Building, where thousands of armed protesters staged an attempted coup on January 6. 

Journalists at the scene reported being told of an 'external security threat' and people working in the Capitol Complex were told to stay away from windows and doors. 

Less than an hour later, the fire department revealed that the chaos was caused by a homeless woman who unwittingly caused an explosion by using propane gas in her tent. 

It caused a huge fire beneath a freeway on H Street South East, which is a stone's throw from the Capitol, and was the source of the black smoke that had terrified people on the hill. 

The scare comes amid growing fears of an insider attack on the Biden inauguration while the nation still reels from the Capitol Building riot on January 6. Pentagon officials are concerned that an insider attack may be in the works. 

All 25,000 of the National Guardsmen who will be there to protect the event are being vetted by the FBI.

The evacuation was first reported shortly after 10.40am. 

'Overhead announcement to those of us in Inauguration rehearsals just now at the Capitol saying there’s an external security threat, no entry or exit, stay away from exterior windows & doors, if outside to seek cover,' one journalist at the scene tweeted. 

A ceremonial honor guard marches past the White House as they rehearse for the President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Washington

A ceremonial honor guard marches past the White House as they rehearse for the President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, in Washington

Military Band members dressed in costumes rehearse near the U.S. Capitol Hill, ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2021

Military Band members dressed in costumes rehearse near the U.S. Capitol Hill, ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2021

The inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden is rehearsed in front of the White House in Washington, U.S. January 18, 2021

The inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden is rehearsed in front of the White House in Washington, U.S. January 18, 2021

Military Band members dressed in 18th century costumes rehearse near the U.S. Capitol Hill, ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration

Military Band members dressed in 18th century costumes rehearse near the U.S. Capitol Hill, ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration

Military personnel waiting to be told it is safe to return to the West front at the Capitol Building on Monday morning

Military personnel waiting to be told it is safe to return to the West front at the Capitol Building on Monday morning  

People after evacuating the West front of the Capitol on Monday morning

People after evacuating the West front of the Capitol on Monday morning 

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

US military during a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration in US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 18 January 2021

US military during a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration in US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 18 January 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021


Smoke started rising behind the Capitol building on Monday morning which made people rehearsing the inauguration panic

Smoke started rising behind the Capitol building on Monday morning which made people rehearsing the inauguration panic

This is where the fire originated - beneath a bridge behind the US Capitol Building

This is where the fire originated - beneath a bridge behind the US Capitol Building

Members of the military band evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to a security threat

Members of the military band evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol due to a security threat

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol after a security threat during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

People evacuate from the West Front of the U.S. Capitol after a security threat during a rehearsal the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021

Members of the military shelter in place at the U.S. Capitol after a dress rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

Members of the military shelter in place at the U.S. Capitol after a dress rehearsal for the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris

The fire was started by a homeless woman who was using propane inside her tent. It caused an 'explosion' that was heard in the area.  She was not seriously injured

The fire was started by a homeless woman who was using propane inside her tent. It caused an 'explosion' that was heard in the area.  She was not seriously injured

Huge plumes of smoke coming from beneath the freeway by-pass on Monday morning

Huge plumes of smoke coming from beneath the freeway by-pass on Monday morning 

The fire department tweeted less than an hour later: '#DCsBravest responded to an outside fire in the 100 block of H St SE that has been extinguished. 

'There were no injuries. This accounts for smoke that many have seen.

'Update outside fire 100 block of H St SE. Fire involved a homeless tent beneath freeway. #DCsBravest quickly extinguished fire. 

'Occupant indicated she was using propane, which may explain report of “explosion “. 1 individual with non life threatening injury.' 

They did not specify what she was using the propane for. The woman did not want to be taken to the hospital. 

Capitol police said in a statement that the incident had been 'contained' by that the area was still on lockdown.

'The Capitol Complex is currently in lockdown. All personnel are advised to stay indoors and away from windows and doors.'  

The security for Wednesday's event will be on a larger scale than any other in recent history. 

Over the weekend, the Capitol Police were heard practicing their emergency notification system over a loud speaker. 

The warning said: 'This is a test of the US Capitol Police audible emergency notification system.' 

Some 25,000 armed National Guardsmen will be in Washington DC for it. Many are already there and have been since the immediate aftermath of the January 6 MAGA mob riot. 

But defense officials say they are now fearful of an insider attack that could threaten the event. All of the troops who will be in Washington to protect the event have to be vetted first by the FBI. 

One Army reservist with 'secret' security clearance has already been arrested for his alleged part in the Capitol siege earlier this month.

City workers clean up the scene at Homeless encampment 100 H St SE where a fire earlier today sparked security concerns that saw the inauguration rehearsal evacuated

City workers clean up the scene at Homeless encampment 100 H St SE where a fire earlier today sparked security concerns that saw the inauguration rehearsal evacuated

It's unclear how many people were living in the encampment. No one was seriously hurt despite the huge flames

It's unclear how many people were living in the encampment. No one was seriously hurt despite the huge flames

City workers are shown cleaning up the debris of the fire on Monday morning

City workers are shown cleaning up the debris of the fire on Monday morning  

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 30, of New Jersey was described in court papers as an 'avowed white supremacist and Nazi sympathizer' who allegedly 'encouraged' other violent rioters before being charged Friday. 

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press on Sunday that officials are conscious of the potential inauguration threat, and warned commanders to be on the lookout for any problems within their ranks as the inauguration approaches. 

So far, however, he and other leaders say they have seen no evidence of any threats, and officials said the vetting hadn't flagged any issues.

'We´re continually going through the process, and taking second, third looks at every one of the individuals assigned to this operation,' McCarthy said in an interview after he and other military leaders went through an exhaustive, three-hour security drill in preparation for Wednesday´s inauguration.

DC is already on high alert with road blocks and a 'ring of steel' of security ahead of Wednesday's inauguration

DC is already on high alert with road blocks and a 'ring of steel' of security ahead of Wednesday's inauguration 

Members of the military waiting inside the Capitol after evacuating the West front on Monday

Members of the military waiting inside the Capitol after evacuating the West front on Monday

US Capitol Police lead members of the news media to a secure area after the US Capitol went into lockdown due to a 'security threat', in Washington, DC

US Capitol Police lead members of the news media to a secure area after the US Capitol went into lockdown due to a 'security threat', in Washington, DC

Tough security measures are being put in place across Washington DC ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration, including bringing in at least 10,000 National Guard troops, erecting new anti-climb fences around the Capitol and White House and the closure of national monuments

Tough security measures are being put in place across Washington DC ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration, including bringing in at least 10,000 National Guard troops, erecting new anti-climb fences around the Capitol and White House and the closure of national monuments

People walk past during a dress rehearsal for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2021 after the explosion scare

People walk past during a dress rehearsal for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2021 after the explosion scare

Preparations take place for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021

Preparations take place for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021

Two armed National Guardsmen are shown protecting the Capitol building on Sunday

Two armed National Guardsmen are shown protecting the Capitol building on Sunday 

Police officers and Secret Service agents stand guard at a check point near the Capitol ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration

Police officers and Secret Service agents stand guard at a check point near the Capitol ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration 

National Guard troops load up weapons at the Nation's Capital ahead of the upcoming inauguration for President Joe Biden

National Guard troops load up weapons at the Nation's Capital ahead of the upcoming inauguration for President Joe Biden

National Guard members take a staircase toward the U.S. Capitol building before a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. There are now fears of an inside plot to sabotage the event

National Guard members take a staircase toward the U.S. Capitol building before a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. There are now fears of an inside plot to sabotage the event

He said Guard members are also getting training on how to identify potential insider threats.

Hale-Cusanelli, the arrested army reservist with 'secret' security clearance, is alleged to have told other rioters to 'advance'.

He now faces charges including knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, The New York Post reports. 

The FBI has released photos of seven MAGA mob rioters wanted for beating and tasing a police officer as they screamed 'kill him with his own gun' during the Capitol siege.

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone, 40, suffered a mild heart attack after being attacked during the violent January 6 siege at the US Capitol. 

Fanone, who is a father-of-four, was among the officers who were overpowered and beaten while trying to stop the rioters from storming the building. 

The FBI Washington Field Office has released images of the seven suspects they say were involved in the assault on Fanone. 

The photos are from images and footage that were taken of the violence scenes at the Capitol.

Authorities are now seeking the public's help in identifying those suspects. 

Less than two weeks ago, 15,000 armed protesters stormed the Capitol in an attempted coup while congress was certifying the election result

Less than two weeks ago, 15,000 armed protesters stormed the Capitol in an attempted coup while congress was certifying the election result 

The FBI has released photos of seven MAGA mob rioters wanted for beating and tasering DC Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone as they screamed 'kill him with his own gun' during the January 6 siege

In a press conference last week, Fanone described being attacked by the mob and said rioters had tried to grab his gun and yelled: 'Kill him with his own gun'. 

Riley June Williams, of Harrisburg, was charged Sunday with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct after she was videoed rioting inside the Capitol last week. She is now being investigated by the FBI

Riley June Williams, of Harrisburg, was charged Sunday with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct after she was videoed rioting inside the Capitol last week. She is now being investigated by the FBI

'It looked like a medieval battle scene,' Fanone, who rushed to the Capitol after hearing an urgent call for back-up on the radio, said

He was among the officers who tried to defend the West Terrace. 

At the time, Fanone and his colleagues were unaware that protesters had already breached the Capitol and were inside. 

He recalled being dragged away from the doors to the Capitol by rioters.  

Photographs from the scene showed him screaming as he tried to fight them off. 

Fanone said that he and his colleagues had mace sprayed in their faces, had their batons stolen and were then beaten with them.

'We were getting chemical irritants sprayed,' he said.

'They had pipes and different metal objects, batons, some of which I think they had taken from law enforcement personnel. They had been striking us with those.'

He said it was impossible to fight the crowd.

Fanone said some of the rioters tried to grab his gun and he feared they were going to shoot him. He said he believes he was only spared because he pleaded with rioters not to kill him for the sake of his children.

It came as a fugitive Pennsylvania worker was investigated for 'stealing' Nancy Pelosi's laptop. 

In video footage captured by British broadcaster ITV, Williams can be seen inside the Capitol, wearing a green T-shirt and brown trench coat, holding a zebra-print bag

In video footage captured by British broadcaster ITV, Williams can be seen inside the Capitol, wearing a green T-shirt and brown trench coat, holding a zebra-print bag

Williams is seen highlighted in the above image in a demonstration outside the Capitol on January 6

Williams is seen highlighted in the above image in a demonstration outside the Capitol on January 6

Riley June Williams, 22, of Harrisburg, was charged Sunday with entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct after she was filmed rioting inside the Capitol on January 6.

A court affidavit outlining Williams' alleged crimes suggests that she could soon face much more serious charges.  

In the affidavit, FBI Agent John Lund said that a former romantic partner of Williams – identified only as W1 – had also come forward to tell the bureau she had stolen either a laptop or hard drive from Pelosi's office during the insurrection.

The witness told investigators that friends of Williams had played them a video that showed her stealing the device.

They further claimed that Williams, a care worker, then 'intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia's foreign intelligence service.'  

However, according to the witness the plan fell through for unknown reasons and Williams is either still in possession of the device or has since destroyed it. 

The FBI said the matter remains under investigation as agents work to verify W1's allegations. For now, Williams is just facing charges of entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.

Williams is believed to be still on the run from police after having allegedly fled from her home when a warrant was issued for her arrest.  

Acting Defense Secretary says there is 'no intelligence of insider threat to the inauguration' but 25,000 troops are still being vetted before it Acting Defense Secretary says there is 'no intelligence of insider threat to the inauguration' but 25,000 troops are still being vetted before it Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 11:19 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.