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The FBI warned for years that police are cozy with the far right. Is no one listening?

7 247 3520
28.08.2020

For decades, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has routinely warned its agents that the white supremacist and far-right militant groups it investigates often have links to law enforcement. Yet the justice department has no national strategy designed to protect the communities policed by these dangerously compromised law enforcers. As our nation grapples with how to reimagine public safety in the wake of the protests following the police killing of George Floyd, it is time to confront and resolve the persistent problem of explicit racism in law enforcement.

I know about these routine warnings because I received them as a young FBI agent preparing to accept an undercover assignment against neo-Nazi groups in Los Angeles, California, in 1992. But you don’t have to take my word for it. A redacted version of a 2006 FBI intelligence assessment, White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement, alerted agents to “both strategic infiltration by organized groups and self-initiated infiltration by law enforcement personnel sympathetic to white supremacist causes”.

A leaked 2015 counter-terrorism policy guide made the case more directly, warning agents that FBI “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers”.

If the government knew that al-Qaida or Isis had infiltrated American law enforcement agencies, it would undoubtedly initiate a nationwide effort to identify them and neutralize the threat they posed. Yet white supremacists and far-right militants have committed far more attacks and killed more people in the US over the last 10 years than any foreign terrorist movement. The FBI regards them as the most lethal domestic terror threat. The need for national action is even more critical.

In recent years, white supremacists have engaged in deadly rampages in Charleston, South Carolina, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and El Paso, Texas. More ominously, neo-Nazis obtained radiological materials to manufacture “dirty” bombs in separate cases in Maine in 2009 and Florida in 2017, which were only avoided through chance.

But in June 2019, when Congressman William Lacy Clay asked the FBI counter-terrorism........

© The Guardian


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