SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — About 500 Illinois National Guard members will be heading to Washington D.C. where they will stay until mid-March for a “security mission,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday.
The U.S. Defense Department asked for Illinois guard troops to assist federal and local agencies to secure the capital as fears remain of violence due to dissatisfaction with the November election results. The request follows the Jan. 6 violent siege of the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump that left five dead and others injured.
The Illinois contingent will join approximately 7,000 National Guard members from throughout the country. That number is expected to fall to 5,000 by the end of February.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin Wednesday warning “some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition … could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.”
Illinois’ National Guard soldiers will be in Washington, D.C., by the start of next week along with a small group of Illinois Air and National Guard airmen.