Following recent extremist demonstrations, it has been uncovered that official FBI guidelines acknowledge that “white supremacists and right-wing extremists have infiltrated U.S. law enforcement agencies”, according to a classified 2015 counterterrorism policy guide, which was obtained by The Intercept. The guide provides an explanation into how people qualify for inclusion on the terrorism watch list, and also states that, “Domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers.”
According to recent reports, the FBI has already been aware of the infiltration, and concerns were even raised back in 2006 following an internal assessment, however, this was never announced publicly due to federal agencies being wary of openly discussing it. According to The Intercept, former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano denied responsibility for a 2009 intelligence study that warned of the “resurgence” of far-right extremists, which was sparked by the election of Barack Obama.
The lead researcher on the 2009 DHS report, Daryl Johnson, who has since been taken out of the agency, told The Intercept that he was disappointed by the decision made by DHS to reduce the unit that was investing the right-wing extremists. He stated, “Federal law enforcement agencies in general—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.”
According to these reports, anti-government groups the Oath Keepers and Constitutional Sheriffs Associations, are actively recruiting both current and former law enforcers. The Intercept states that the police officers who purposefully created close ties with white supremacist, militia or sovereign citizen groups can be on the terrorism watchlist as “silent hits.” This then allows the FBI to monitor them, which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
I am Jess Murray, wildlife conservationist, photographer and writer. I like to document the natural world and create awareness through my writing so that your future can be sustainable and positive. Follow my Facebook page and Instagram account to be part of the journey.