December 11, 2023

Countering Domestic Violent Extremism in the Ranks: Barriers to Recruitment Screening

In early November, a former Army reservist pleaded guilty to a plot, along with a Jan. 6 defendant, to murder Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees working on the Jan. 6 cases. That same week, a former member of the New Jersey National Guard surrendered to local police after a manhunt in connection with federal Jan. 6 charges. These are the most recent developments in Jan. 6-related cases involving defendants affiliated with the military or law enforcement professions. According to data maintained by NPR, approximately 15 percent of the Jan. 6 cases involve defendants with military or law enforcement ties.

Lawful interaction with the technology sector, including social media platforms, is essential to effectively address national security threats, foreign and domestic.

The Jan. 6 cases—and their connection to military, law enforcement, and veteran personnel—echo trends that have existed throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. These most recent trends once again raise the question of whether the United States has a problem with domestic violent extremism (DVE) in the military, veteran, and law enforcement ranks. After almost two years of looking at this question, our current assessment is: Yes, but it’s hard to assess the extent of the problem for at least three reasons.

Read the full article from Lawfare.

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