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Courts / Law

Defense Official: Scores Of Current And Former Military Probed In Extremism Cases

The FBI informed the Defense Department of 68 current and former military members who were investigated in domestic extremism probes in 2020, according to a senior defense official.
The FBI informed the Defense Department of 68 current and former military members who were investigated in domestic extremism probes in 2020, according to a senior defense official.

The source says the Pentagon was informed about 68 subjects in FBI domestic extremism investigations in 2020. The vast majority are former military, many with unfavorable discharge records.

The FBI continues to investigate last week's mob attack on the Capitol and make arrests that include current and former military service members. Now NPR has learned the domestic extremism problem within the ranks may be more serious than officials realized.

A senior defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly tells NPR that there were 143 notifications of investigations by the FBI last year of former and current military members.

Of these, 68 pertained to domestic extremism cases the FBI had opened with current or former military personnel as subjects of investigation. The vast majority are former military; many with unfavorable discharge records, according to the official.

The majority of these cases involve anti-government/anti-authority motivations, including attacks on government facilities and persons in positions of authority. One-fourth are associated with white nationalism.

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