***White Supremacists Seek to Infiltrate Law Enforcement and Military Groups to Shore Up Cause, FBI Report Says***
***FBI Report: White Supremacists ‘Seek Affiliation’ to Infiltrate Law Enforcement and Military Groups to Wage War and Commit Violent Acts Toward Other Racial Groups***
White supremacist groups are planning to join law enforcement and military organizations so they can commit acts of violence and learn how to wage war against other racial and ethnic groups, an FBI report states.
The intelligence comes from a document obtained by ABC News entitled “Siege-Inspired Actors Very Likely Seek Military and Law Enforcement Affiliation, Increasing Risk of Tradecraft Proliferation and Color of Law Offenses in the FBI San Antonio Area of Responsibility.” It was distributed to law enforcement agencies in Texas and other parts of the nation.
“In the long term, FBI San Antonio assesses [racially motivated violent extremists] successfully entering military and law enforcement careers almost certainly will gain access to non-public tradecraft and information, enabling them to enhance operational security and develop new tactics in and beyond the FBI San Antonio,” the document dated Feb. 25 states.
White supremacists are said to have plans “to exploit familial and social connections when pursuing military and law enforcement employment, reducing obstacles and increasing opportunities … to acquire tradecraft.”
“Based on evidence [extremists] expressed a desire to join the military and law enforcement primarily to obtain tradecraft to prepare for and initiate a collapse of society, specifically by engaging in violence against the US government and specified racial and ethnic groups,” the report states. “Online peers encouraged them to seek these careers and [extremists] built relationships with associates seeking military employment, focusing on the associates’ current and future martial skills.”
While the aforementioned report focuses on neo-Nazi groups inspired by the white supremacist publication Siege, this is not the first time the threat of such groups entering law enforcement with a radicalized agenda has been noted. For years, intelligence has warned of the threat.
“In 2006, the FBI warned in writing that white supremacists seek to infiltrate law enforcement, and its 2015 Counterterrorism Policy Guide instructed agents conducting domestic terrorism investigations of white supremacists and far-right militias to modify their tactics because the subjects of these investigations often have ‘active links’ to law enforcement,” former FBI agent Michael German told ABC News. “Yet when Congress sought answers about what the FBI was doing to address this threat, FBI managers disavowed the intelligence.”
German’s words were echoed by Rep. Jamie Raskin, who said the FBI dropped the ball in dealing with the problem.
“When we asked the FBI last year to testify about white supremacists executing plans to infiltrate law enforcement entities across America, the bureau refused and told us it had no evidence that racist infiltration was a problem,” the Maryland Democrat said in a statement. “Now, the January insurrection — and the growing evidence of off-duty law enforcement officers being involved in the attack on Congress — and this newly leaked report confirm in my mind that the FBI’s failure to level with the American people about organized racist infiltration of law enforcement is having dangerous and deadly consequences.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray denied the bureau ignored intelligence. “Whenever we’ve had the chance we’ve tried to emphasize that this is a top concern and remained so for the FBI,” Wray said at a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Tuesday, March 2. “The FBI will not tolerate agitators and extremists who plan or committed violence. Period. And that goes for violent extremists, of any stripe.”
The hearing marked Wray’s first public remarks since the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which he said was “domestic terrorism” that has “no place in our democracy.”
However, German said agent intelligence like the San Antonio report “makes clear that white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement and recruitment from the ranks continued to be a problem even as their superiors disavowed it.” He added, “When FBI managers won’t accept intelligence reports coming from their agents working the streets, it is no wonder intelligence failures like the Capitol attack occur.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who ordered the armed services to conduct stand-downs over a period of two months to address the problem, has vowed to rid military “ranks of racists and extremists.”
“This is behavior that can really tear at the fabric of our institution,” Austin told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week” during a March 7 interview. “And so we want to make sure that our troops are reminded of what our values are, reminded of the oath that we took coming in.”
While many users on social media blamed the Trump administration for exacerbating the problem, some said white supremacists have always been in law enforcement and the military.
“They are already in law enforcement, military as well as congress,” @cyoung662 tweeted. “In fairness, they’ve always been affiliated with law enforcement … only now, they’re no longer wearing hoods,” added @sjk8775.