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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jan 20, 2021

A dozen Army National Guard members have been removed from the inauguration security mission, including two who were sent home after vetting for extremist links found an "inappropriate" text and comment, the Pentagon said oTuesday.

Each of the 25,000 National Guardsmen now in Washington assisting with security at Wednesday's presidential inauguration is being vetted by the FBI.

Each of the dozen Guard members has been sent back to his or her home state for later investigation either by their chain of command or law enforcement, officials said.

Read more: ABC News

Three members of the far-right group Oath Keepers are facing the first conspiracy charges to arise from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, with prosecutors alleging they plotted to disrupt the electoral vote confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden.

Thomas Edward Caldwell, Jessica Marie Watkins and Donovan Ray Crowl were charged Tuesday by federal prosecutors in Washington with conspiracy as well as obstruction of official proceedings and destruction of government property, among other charges. Caldwell, 65, served as a leader in “planning and coordinating” the breach of the Capitol, the government claims. The riot by supporters of President Donald Trump left five people dead and sent lawmakers fleeing for safety.

“Not only did Caldwell, Crowl, Watkins, and others conspire to forcibly storm the U.S. Capitol, they communicated with one another in advance of the incursion and planned their attack,” prosecutors allege in a court filing.

Read more: Bloomberg

The FBI's dragnet to find suspects in the U.S. Capitol riot swept up a Maryland man over the weekend who was arrested based on a tip from a state probation agent.

Bryan Betancur was on probation for a 2018 burglary case in Baltimore County. His probation agent called the FBI after she heard Betancur talk of being at the Capitol during the attack on Jan. 6.

According to federal documents obtained over the weekend by the 11 News I-Team, Betancur is a self-proclaimed white supremacist who has Maryland addresses in Owings Mills and Silver Spring.

According to the federal documents, Betancur told his state probation agent he wanted to go to Washington on Jan. 6 to sell Bibles. In a text message to his agent, Betancur asked: "Would you give me permission to go?"

Read more: WBAL