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Several planned protests in Washington DC will keep the National Guard in the nation’s capital at least into March, US Army officials said.
At least 5,000 of the 25,000 troops deployed to the city are to remain on duty — even as the size of the force continues to be drawn down.
But Acting Army Secretary John Whitley said at a briefing Monday that FBI warnings about potential unrest in the coming weeks will require a Guard presence in the capital.
“What I can tell you in terms of what they’re briefing us is there are several upcoming events — we don’t know what they are — over the next several weeks, and they’re concerned that there could be situations where there are lawful protests, First Amendment-protected protests, that could either be used by malicious actors or other problems that could emerge,” he said.
“We are posturing our forces to be able to respond to those threats if they emerge.”
On Jan. 6, thousands of National Guard troops were dispatched to DC after supporters of Former President Trump stormed the Capitol building to stop Congressional certification of the presidential election results.
Five died in the riot, including a police officer.
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