SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — Gov. JB Pritzker has ordered the activation of about 200 members of the Illinois National Guard who will be heading to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The District of Columbia has requested additional support from the National Guard for the inauguration, particularly in the wake of the assault on the U.S. Capitol last week.
“In the wake of the recent incident at the Capitol, ensuring a peaceful transfer of power to the Biden administration is of the utmost importance,” Gov. Pritzker said in a news release. “The Illinois National Guard is renown for its exemplary soldiers and airmen and I am proud to have them represent Illinois alongside other servicemembers during the upcoming presidential inauguration.”
“Supporting the presidential inauguration is a great opportunity for the Illinois National Guard to be part of history and represent the state of Illinois,” Maj. Gen. Richard Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard, said in the release. “Our Soldiers and Airmen are highly trained and I have full confidence in their abilities to support local and federal agencies as needed.”
About 100 Illinois Army National Guard Military Police soldiers from the 404th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s 33rd Military Police Battalion will be going to Washington, along with about 45 Security Forces Airmen.
Another 30 airmen from the Illinois Air National Guard will also be activated to provide communication, logistics, and religious support, the governor’s office said.
The Illinois National Guard will assist federal and local agencies to ensure safety and security at the inauguration.
The FBI this week warned law enforcement across the country that groups are calling for the “storming” of federal, state and local courthouses in all 50 states if President Donald Trump is removed from office prior to Inauguration Day on Wednesday, Jan. 20, a law enforcement source told CBS News.
The groups are calling for participants to come armed at their own discretion, according to the FBI’s alert, which also said that there are reports of non-specified threats being made against Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The alert comes as law enforcement across the country scrambles to assess whether the violent incursion into the Capitol building by supporters of Mr. Trump could lead to further violence before Mr. Biden’s inauguration. The attack on the Capitol left five dead, including a police officer. Another Capitol police officer committed suicide on Saturday.
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