The FBI is expecting white supremacists and other extremists to step up their “affiliation with military and law enforcement entities” to further their far-right ideologies, according to a confidential intelligence assessment released late last month, ABC News reported Monday.
The conclusion by the FBI’s San Antonio division was based on investigations from 2016 to 2020 and on intelligence from informants with “excellent access” to extremists, according to ABC, which obtained a copy of the document.
Extremists “expressed a desire to join the military and law enforcement primarily 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 noted.
Racially motivated violent extremists “successfully entering military and law enforcement careers almost certainly will gain access to non-public tradecraft and information,” states the document obtained by ABC. That will enable them to “enhance operational security and develop new tactics.”
The report was distributed to law enforcement operations in Texas and elsewhere in the nation, ABC reported.
The information is particularly troubling in the wake of the deadly U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, which was exacerbated by a sluggish response from the Pentagon and included among the insurrectionists an alarming number of current and past law enforcement officials and military personnel.
FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that the bureau had been “sounding the alarm” about the rising domestic terrorism threat for “a number of years now.” He reported that there are currently 2,000 investigations into domestic terrorism, up from close to 1,000 cases when he started in 2017.
Though he would not characterize Capitol rioters as right or left politically, he said there was no evidence to date of any anarchist extremists or anti-fascist involvement. Violent rioters were either “militia extremists” or those who “advocate for the superiority of the white race,” he testified. (See some of his testimony in the video above.)
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) attacked the FBI in a statement to ABC on Monday for not staying on top of the white supremacist threat. He noted bureau officials refused to testify last year about the possibility of extremists infiltrating law enforcement at a hearing he led, insisting it wasn’t “a problem.”
The “growing evidence of off-duty law enforcement officers being involved in the [Jan. 6] 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,” he added.
Raskin, chair of the House Oversight subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties, released an unredacted FBI document in September —“White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement” — revealing that the bureau was already concerned about the problem in 2006.
“White supremacist presence among law enforcement personnel” may provide access to “restricted areas vulnerable to sabotage and to elected officials,” who could be potential targets, the 2006 report warned.
“In addition, white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement can result in other abuses of authority and passive tolerance of racism within communities,” it added.
Read the entire ABC story here. Read the 2006 FBI report on concerns about white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement here.
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.