ANDERSON, Ind. — The FBI removed a dozen national guard members from protecting the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Wednesday. The Pentagon said the vetting process found two of these members made extremist statements or posts about the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
John Pistole is the current president of Anderson University and a 26-year veteran of the FBI. Pistole is a former FBI deputy director who played a role in the security of two presidential inaugurations, including the transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama.
“Of course, there was a much smaller national guard presence at those because there wasn’t quite frankly an assessment, intelligence assessment, that said that was needed as it is now,” Pistole said.
Pistole said the vetting of all national guard members and some other security members is unprecedented. The Associated Press reports all 12 of the guard members were removed because of “security liabilities.”
Like other current officials, Pistole is concerned about an inside attack.
“But yes, can somebody else do something,” Pistole said. “Even unfortunately like a suicide bomber. You know somebody who’s ready to give up their life as we saw in international terrorism, of course, 9/11 so vividly displayed. So that’s my concern.”
Pistole hopes the layers of security now in place, along with the amount of law enforcement in the area, will deter any bad actors from attacking their own country.
“So you don’t have just one 3-foot little barricade that can be pushed over as you’ve seen,” Pistole said. “We’ve all seen.”