A classified Federal Bureau of Investigation 2015 counterterrorism policy guide reveals that white supremacists and right-wing extremists have actively worked their way into the ranks of law enforcement agencies, according to The Intercept.
“…the FBI, the Marshals, the ATF — are aware that extremists have infiltrated state and local law enforcement agencies and that there are people in law enforcement agencies that may be sympathetic to these groups,” said Daryl Johnson, the lead researcher on the 2009 Department of Homeland Security report. Johnson was pushed out of the agency when the DHS moved to shrink the unit investigating right-wing extremists.
Internal evaluations at the FBI turned up concerns of the problem as early as 2006, but has been slow to publicly come forward with the information, according to The Intercept. Additionally, Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano even disavowed a 2009 intelligence study warning of the “resurgence” of far-right extremists sparked by President Barack Obama’s election.
From The Intercept:
No centralized recruitment process or set of national standards exists for the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, many of which have deep historical connections to racist ideologies. As a result, state and local police as well as sheriff’s departments present ample opportunities for white supremacists and other right-wing extremists looking to expand their power base.
The Oath Keepers and Constitutional Sheriffs Associations, both of which are anti-government groups, are eager to recruit current and former law enforcement officers who share their views. An Oregon Sheriff, belonging to the CSA, supported the efforts of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the group who occupied the refuge more than a month in early 2016. Additionally, a Maryland police officer was suspended, after a photograph was turned up with him wearing an Oath Keepers’ hat in plain view.
Police officers who continue to have close ties to white supremacist, militia or sovereign citizen groups may end up on the terrorism watchlist as “silent hits.” These hits, allow the FBI to monitor them in anonymity, as they are not outed as suspected terrorists in official databases.
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