An FBI report found white supremacists sought ‘affiliation with military and law enforcement’ to further their goals

Capitol Siege
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the West wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington Jose Luis Magana/AP
  • An FBI report found that far-right extremists and white supremacists sought to infiltrate law enforcement.
  • The report, conducted by the FBI’s San Antonio office, was published February 25, according to ABC News.
  • Questions about extremists on police forces have been part of larger discussions about reform.
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An FBI investigation conducted between 2016 and 2020 found that white supremacists and far-right extremists “very likely seek affiliation with military and law enforcement entities” to further their goals, according to a report Monday from ABC News.

The internal FBI document, dated February 25, was distributed among law enforcement agencies in Texas and elsewhere in the US, according to the ABC News report.

The FBI didn’t immediately return Insider’s request for comment about the report.

“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 document said, according to the report that was obtained by the news outlet.

The FBI investigation, conducted by the agency’s San Antonio division, focused on followers of the white-supremacist organization “Atomwaffen Division” and its publication “Siege,” the report said. The FBI report said it reached its conclusions based on records it obtained and informants it had within the white-supremacist group, according to ABC News.

The report, 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” found extremists intended to infiltrate law enforcement to commit violence on minority groups, ABC News reported.

FBI Director Christopher Wray in February warned of the dangers of white supremacists and extremists in the US. Wray said during testimony before Congress that since he began FBI director in 2017 he had doubled its domestic terrorism investigations from about 1,000 to 2,000, according to The Washington Post.

More than two dozen law enforcement officers were suspected of playing a role in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol where five people – including a Capitol Police officer – died when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building and overpowered authorities.

Concerns over extremists and white supremacists on US police forces were also at the center of conversations around racism on police forces and police brutality amid nationwide protests last year following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

The February report from the FBI determined it made its conclusions “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.”

“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,” the report said, according to ABC News.

The report also found that extremists exploited family and other social connections to gain access to military and law enforcement employment.