7000 National Guard troops to remain in DC till March: Report

TEHRAN, Jan. 26 (MNA) – Some 7,000 of National Guard troops will remain in DC through at least March, continuing the extraordinary militarization of the city in the days leading up to President Joe Biden’s inauguration, albeit at a lesser scale.

According to a National Guard spokesperson, 7,000 members will “continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies” in the city, drawing down to 5,000 by mid-March. The members were requested to assist with “security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics, and safety,” but the spokesperson could not identify who made the request.

Federal law enforcement officials requested the troops to protect from potentially violent protests surrounding former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which starts Feb. 8, sources familiar with the matter told Politico, CNN reported. 

In the wake of the insurrection of the US Capitol, the National Guard deployed more than 25,000 members to secure the inaugural events, with troops heavily fortifying a downtown security corridor and stretching into other residential neighborhoods.

About 15,000 soldiers — who came from all 54 guard services in the states, territories, and DC — are slated to start returning home as early as this weekend, Military.com reports. But the remaining military presence reflects ongoing fears of threats from extremist and white nationalist groups.

“The threat of right-wing extremism is here. We saw it on Jan. 6, and it will continue to be a persistent and real threat to the District of Columbia and to our region as well,” DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Chris Rodriguez said on Thursday, declining to identify any specific threats.

Mayor Muriel Bowser has warned that residents should prepare for a “new normal” following the violence on Jan. 6.

“We are also evaluating now, the rest of the year, the next three weeks, the next six weeks, intelligence from our federal partners that would suggest that we need more presence,” Bowser said at a press conference on Thursday.

MA/PR

News Code 169037

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