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DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announces an investigation into the threat of domestic terrorism in his OWN department after veterans took part in January 6 riot at US Capitol

 The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced an internal review to assess the threat of violent extremism from within the agency.

Monday's announcement was made by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and came part of a broader administration focus on domestic threats following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Senior DHS officials will immediately begin the review, which is aimed at preventing, detecting and responding to extremism within the ranks of a sprawling agency that includes the Coast Guard and the nation's immigration enforcement organizations, Secretary Mayorkas said in a letter announcing the effort.

DHS, which was formed in response to the 9/11 attacks, calls domestic violent extremism the 'most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat' facing the nation following a series of deadly incidents in recent years.

'As we work to safeguard our nation, we must be vigilant in our efforts to identify and combat domestic violent extremism within both the broader community and our own organization,' Mayorkas said.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (seen above speaking to the press at the White House on March 1) announced an internal review to assess the threat of violent extremism from within the Department of Homeland Security

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas (seen above speaking to the press at the White House on March 1) announced an internal review to assess the threat of violent extremism from within the Department of Homeland Security

DHS, which was formed in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, calls domestic violent extremism the 'most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat' facing the nation following a series of deadly incidents in recent years

DHS, which was formed in response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, calls domestic violent extremism the 'most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat' facing the nation following a series of deadly incidents in recent years

The internal review is part of a broader administration focus on domestic threats following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. At least 52 of the more than 400 people arrested for taking part in the Capitol riot are either former or current military, law enforcement, or government service employees, according to ABC News

The internal review is part of a broader administration focus on domestic threats following the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol. At least 52 of the more than 400 people arrested for taking part in the Capitol riot are either former or current military, law enforcement, or government service employees, according to ABC News

DHS plans in the coming days to issue new policies for reporting internal threats and suspected extremism.

The agency did not cite any specific incidents in announcing the review. 


Past known cases include that of a Coast Guard lieutenant who was accused of being a domestic terrorist and convicted on weapons and drug charges last year.

Christopher Paul Hasson, 50, was arrested in 2019 when authorities found a trove of illegal firearms and racist, white supremacist material in his home in Silver Spring, Maryland. 

Christopher Paul Hasson, 51, (above), a former Coast Guard officer, was sentenced last year to 13 years in prison after authorities said they found a trove of illegal firearms and racist, white supremacist material in his home in Silver Spring, Maryland

Christopher Paul Hasson, 51, (above), a former Coast Guard officer, was sentenced last year to 13 years in prison after authorities said they found a trove of illegal firearms and racist, white supremacist material in his home in Silver Spring, Maryland

More than a dozen guns and hundreds of bullets were discovered inside his home, prosecutors said.

They also found a 'hit list' Hasson had made of people to shoot including U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. 

Prosecutors said the lieutenant, who was sentenced to more than 13 years, was preparing to carry out a mass attack to act out white nationalist views.  

At his sentencing, the Maryland resident said he never planned to hurt anyone and apologized for his actions.

In February, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered military leaders to spend time talking to their troops about extremism in the ranks after a number of former and current service members took part in the January 6 insurrection. 

According to a running tally kept by ABC News, at least 52 of the more than 400 people arrested for taking part in the Capitol riot are either former or current military, law enforcement, or government service employees.

Some half a dozen are former police officers.

In many cases, those who stormed the Capitol appeared to employ tactics, body armor and technology such as two-way radio headsets that were similar to those of the very police they were confronting.

Among the most prominent to emerge so far include multiple Air Force veterans, a retired Navy SEAL, an active duty Army psychological warfare captain and Virginia police officers.

This photo taken on the steps of the US Capitol shows a line of men wearing combat helmets and body armor in a formation known as 'ranger file'. It is standard operating procedure for a combat team that is 'stacking up' to breach a building and is instantly recognizable to any US soldier or Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan

This photo taken on the steps of the US Capitol shows a line of men wearing combat helmets and body armor in a formation known as 'ranger file'. It is standard operating procedure for a combat team that is 'stacking up' to breach a building and is instantly recognizable to any US soldier or Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan

MAGA protesters walk up Capitol steps in 'ranger file'
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The rioters - supporters of former President Donald Trump - had hoped to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election.

'Those of us who know DHS well know that the number of problematic officers within DHS is small,' said Thomas Warrick, a former senior official at the agency who focuses on ways to reform it as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. 

'But even a small number is corrosive. It undermines the trust of the American people and the entire mission of the department and its components.'

Shortly after President Joe Biden took office, DHS issued a rare terrorism bulletin warning of the lingering potential for violence from people motivated by antigovernment sentiment after the election, suggesting the insurrection might embolden extremists and set the stage for additional attacks.

The agency also directed state, local and tribal agencies receiving annual DHS grants to direct 7.5 per cent of the funds toward addressing the threat from domestic extremism.

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