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Tuesday, March 09, 2021

FBI Report Details Efforts by White Supremacists to Infiltrate Law Enforcement

FBI Report Finds That White Supremacists Seek to Join Armed Forces and Law Enforcement

Illustration for article titled FBI Report Finds That White Supremacists Seek to Join Armed Forces and Law Enforcement
Photo: Kristi Blokhin (Shutterstock)

"In news that is absolutely shocking to no one who’s been paying attention, an internal report distributed by the FBI to various law enforcement agencies finds that white supremacists seek to infiltrate law enforcement and the armed forces in an effort to further their racist-ass agenda.

According to ABC News, the report was crafted by the FBI’s San Antonio department and sent to law enforcement agencies both in Texas and throughout the country. Based on investigations conducted between 2016 and 2020, the report found that the white-supremacist publication “Siege” was a key motivator for members of the extremist group, Atomwaffen Division and encouraged white supremacists to join law enforcement. 

“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 region,” the report said.

I’d love to be like “Boy, it sure is great that the FBI is tracking efforts by white supremacists to join law enforcement,” but they’ve been saying this shit. White supremacists attempting to join law enforcement and the armed forces is nothing new. In fact, there’s a long history of the FBI going “Yo, white supremacists are trying to join law enforcement, b-t-dubs.” It’s not a new problem, nor is it one the FBI is just now becoming aware of. 

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), chairman of the House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee, released a statement critical of the FBI’s apparent flip flopping on the issue and lack of tangible solutions on how to effectively stop 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,” Raskin’s statement read. “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.”

Raskin wasn’t the only one critical of the FBI’s response, as a former FBI agent told ABC News he was also concerned about the agency’s relative inaction when it comes to actively combating white supremacy. 

From ABC News:

Former FBI Agent Michael German, whose expertise was infiltrating white supremacist groups for the bureau, said he continues to be troubled by the way FBI leadership is dealing with the problem.

“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,” German said. “Yet when Congress sought answers about what the FBI was doing to address this threat, FBI managers disavowed the intelligence.”

German, now an author and fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, said that the new report from San Antonio “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. 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.”

“The problem isn’t a lack of intelligence or barriers to collection,” German said. “It is that FBI managers continue to ignore the intelligence they receive if it doesn’t fit their preferred narratives about what the terrorist threat looks like.”

The report found that 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. 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.”

So, it sounds like they have an effective strategy for infiltrating law enforcement and the armed forces, and honestly, it’s not unsurprising that the Capitol riot went down the way it did. When you have an extremist group planning, plotting, and pretty much telling you exactly what they’re going to do, and the intelligence agencies responsible for combating that group essentially go, “Nah, they’re not that serious,” then yeah, people are going to die.

Perhaps if the white supremacists were fighting for a more equitable country where unarmed people aren’t killed because of the color of the skin they would’ve had a little more hustle in the matter. Who knows?

The Capitol riot has seen law enforcement, federal agencies, and the armed forces finally start taking the matter of extremism in their ranks somewhat more seriously, as it’s been found that an alarming number of both law enforcement as well as active duty and retired members of the armed forces participated in the riot. Time will only tell if they’ll actually, you know, do something about it."

FBI Report Details Efforts by White Supremacists to Infiltrate Law Enforcement

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