Raskin demands briefing from FBI on extremists infiltrating police, military after report goes public

first_imgdomoyega/iStockBy JOSH MARGOLIN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — A top House Democrat, concerned that the FBI has not been candid about extremist efforts to infiltrate law enforcement and the military, is demanding an urgent briefing from the nation’s top law-enforcement agency.Rep. Jamie Raskin, chairman of the House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee, dispatched a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray Tuesday with a deadline for action.“I am deeply concerned that the bureau dismissed this threat last year and instead characterized the threat of white-supremacist infiltration of law enforcement as a hypothetical problem that has not materialized,” wrote Raskin (D-Md.), who led a hearing on the problem last year. “For the above reasons, I am requesting a member briefing on this topic no later than March 26, 2021.”The new urgency comes in the wake of an ABC News report published Monday detailing a confidential FBI intelligence assessment of the problem of white supremacists and other right-wing extremists plotting to infiltrate police agencies and the military.Based on investigations between 2016 and 2020, agents and analysts with the FBI’s division in San Antonio concluded that extremists would “very likely seek affiliation with military and law enforcement entities in furtherance of” their ideologies, according to a confidential intelligence assessment issued late last month.The document, obtained by ABC News, was distributed to law enforcement agencies both in Texas and elsewhere in the country. It focused on extremists inspired by the white-supremacist publication “Siege,” which served as motivation for the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, among others.The report was titled “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.”The FBI told ABC News Wednesday that they had received Raskin’s letter, but did not offer further comment.Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Wray said that there are currently 2,000 domestic terrorism investigations, up from almost 1,000 when he first started in 2017.“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 in his testimony. “The FBI will not tolerate agitators and extremists who plan or committed violence. Period. And that goes for violent extremists, of any stripe.”In an interview, Raskin told ABC News he believes that the vast majority of police and members of military do their jobs properly. However, he said he has become increasingly concerned in recent years by episodes that seem to point to a serious problem with extremist activity on the inside.“The bureau failed to level with the American people,” said Raskin, who led the impeachment of former President Donald Trump in response to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. “This is an emergency.”Since the Jan. 6 attack, lawmakers and officials have increasingly focused on the issue of white supremacy and other types of violent extremism in the military and law enforcement. According to research by news organizations including The New York Times, at least 30 people with law enforcement training have been tied to the events of the insurrection, which left five dead, including a Capitol Hill police officer.“As the world now knows, on Jan. 6, 2021, irrefutable proof of this threat materialized on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, when off-duty law enforcement officers participated in the violent insurrection against Congress,” Raskin wrote in his letter to Wray. “Given the FBI’s refusal just last year to admit that extremist police officers posed a serious threat to our Nation’s security, I am now concerned that the Bureau lacks an adequate strategy to respond to this clear and present danger to public safety.”Conclusions in the FBI’s Feb. 25 assessment were based on information from records and informants, some of whom had “excellent access,” according to the document.“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.The report’s assessment is “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,” said the document. “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.”In addition, the report says extremists are “likely to seek to exploit familial and social connections when pursuing military and law enforcement employment, reducing obstacles and increasing opportunities … to acquire tradecraft.”The FBI publicly issued a similar warning in 2006, and in 2015 agents were instructed to modify methods and tactics because of the fear of infiltrators in their midst.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. 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first_imgIII CORPSIII Corps and its Subordinate Units are prepared to rapidly deploy and conduct the full range of military operations to seize, retain and exploit the initiative, in order to defeat any adversary. The Corps is prepared to exercise mission command of Army, Joint, and Multi-National Forces, as a Corps, Joint Task force, or Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command (CJFLCC).1ST CAVALRY DIVISIONWith more than 20,000 soldiers, the 1st Cavalry Division is the premier heavy-armored division in today’s Army. It is organized in brigade combat teams, composed of maneuver elements, artillery and support. The division also has an air cavalry brigade, horse cavalry detachment and division band.DIVISION WEST – FIRST ARMYThe First Army’s Division West primary mission is the training of Reserve Component service members.3RD CAVALRY REGIMENTThe 3rd Cavalry Regiment, known as the “Brave Rifles,” is a combined arms unit composed of three cavalry squadrons, an aviation squadron and a support squadron.U.S. ARMY GARRISON FORT HOODFort Hood’s garrison provides support to soldiers and families through services and facilities while optimizing resources, sustaining the environment and enhancing the well-being of the Fort Hood community. The garrison is composed of directorates such as Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Emergency Services; Public Works and others.13TH SUSTAINMENT COMMAND (EXPEDITIONARY)The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command provides mission command assigned, attached and operational control units. Plans, prepares, executes and assesses sustainment, distribution, theater opening and reception, staging, and onward movement for forces in theater of operation in support of unified land operations. Continues to build relationships with all sustainment brigades.It shapes sustainment readiness in the CONUS-West area of influence by serving as the primary sustainment advisor to senior commanders of United States Army Forces Command installations; assisting, advocating for, and mentoring echelons above brigade sustainment units in order to improve efficiency of installation support and prepare units for deployment.1ST MEDICAL BRIGADEThe 1st Medical Brigade is providing health care and medical services to the Fort Hood community, and continuing training in its combat support mission.11TH SIGNAL BRIGADEThe 11th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade deploys and executes Mission Command and Network Operations (NETOPS) of Expeditionary Communication Systems for III Corps, ACF or designated land component commander conducting Unified Land Operations and current missions.36TH ENGINEER BRIGADEThe unit deploys to provide route clearing, assault gap-crossing, horizontal and vertical engineering projects.89TH MILITARY POLICE BRIGADEThe brigade consists of several MP battalions (including the Fort Hood-based 720th MP battalion and the 178th and 126th MP detachments), which deploy to provide military police combat support, area security, internment and resettlement operations, law and order and police intelligence. When not deployed, the brigade provides law enforcement and force protection to Fort Hood.504TH BATTLEFIELD SURVEILLANCE BRIGADEThe brigade regularly deploys to provide intelligence, counterintelligence, operational security and electronic warfare.3RD SECURITY FORCE ASSISTANCE BRIGADEThe 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade deploys in support of a combatant commander, integrates with foreign partner forces, assists and advises local security operations to build partner security capacity and capability to achieve regional security in support of U.S. national interests.48TH CHEMICAL BRIGADEThis brigade consists of about 3,000 CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive) soldiers in five battalions spread across nine military installations.69TH AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERYThe unit has Avenger and Stinger missiles and Patriot batteries. The unit is composed of 2-1 ADA, 4-5 ADA and 1-44th ADA.U.S. ARMY OPERATIONAL TEST COMMANDThis command helps spearhead the testing of future Army equipment.last_img read more