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It’s the latest government review to identify employees with extremist views, particularly after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is launching an internal probe to identify white supremacists within its own ranks.
“Domestic violent extremism represents the deadliest and most persistent terrorist threat to our country today,” Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Monday. “As we work to safeguard our nation, we must be vigilant in our efforts to identify and address domestic violent extremism within the wider community and within our own organization. Hateful acts and violent extremism will not be tolerated in our department.”
The move is the latest within the federal government to identify employees who may have extremist views, particularly after the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill.
The Pentagon has also launched its own investigation into “prohibited extremist activity” and “extremist behavior” within the military. Additional screening will also be instituted to identify potentially violent extremist personnel. According to an analysis of arrest records connected to the insurrection by either the federal government or the District of Columbia, of more than 140 people charged, at least 27, or roughly 20 percent, have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military.
Customs and Border Protection and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement are also conducting internal probes.
“Violent extremism has no place at DHS and we will work with urgency and focus to address it,” Mayorkas said in a memo issued Monday to the department’s nearly quarter-million staffers.
“Each of you brings great honor to DHS,” Mayorkas said. “We will not allow hateful acts or violent extremism to penetrate the fabric of our department and fundamentally compromise our ability to protect the homeland.”
The secretary also said the DHS will create a new internal reporting system for employees to disclose insider threats or other actions associated with domestic terrorism.
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