The Pentagon is investigating veterans and members of the military who were in the crowd during the Capitol building breach on January 6 to combat and identify “white supremacy” and “far-right extremism.” This comes as over 25 thousand troops have been deployed in DC to provide security for the inauguration of Joe Biden due to alleged “external security threats.”
So far, the FBI has identified six people with “military links” throughout the early stages of their investigation into the events that took place at the US Capitol on January 6, according to the New York Times.
“These people are not representative of our country’s military,” said General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “There was some indication that an unknown number of veterans associated with the insurrection.”
Former U.S. Marine Donovan Crowl and Army veteran Jessica Watkins were arrested after authorities discovered photos of the individuals dressed in combat gear and claiming that they breached the Capitol on social media. Captain Emily Rainey, who transported 100 Americans to Washington DC for the protest, is also being investigated by the Army for any connections to the event.
Federal officials are now “vetting” thousands of National Guard members, apparently for pro-Trump sentiments, in preparation for the inauguration of Joe Biden. Among the force of over 25 thousand, servicemen who will be near Biden will have to undergo additional background checks. The Defense Department will also monitor social media accounts for indicative posts from service members.
General Milley and the rest of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a letter to all military personnel reminding them to be loyal to Joe Biden once he is sworn into office on January 20.
Furthermore, the Inspector General of the Defense Department announced that they will be investigating Pentagon policies “to determine the extent to which the DoD and the Military Services have implemented policy and procedures that prohibit active advocacy and active participation related to supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine, ideology, or causes” by active duty military members.
“This needs to be rooted out of our military,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
The FBI opened over 140 criminal investigations into current and former military members last year, with over 60 of those cases being related to domestic terrorism. The FBI says that one quarter of those investigations were associated with white nationalism, with a “small number” being motivated by anti-fascist or anti-abortion views.
“We in the Department of Defense are doing everything we can to eliminate extremism,” said the Pentagon director for defense intelligence Gary Reid.