A joint investigation has found that over 300 people listed as members of the anti-government militia, the Oath Keepers, say they’ve worked for agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including the Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE, and the Secret Service, Common Dreams wrote.
The report — published by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) — refers to an internal roster of the Oath Keepers taken from 2009 to 2015. Nevertheless, it is especially concerning considering that these anti-government extremists work in a federal agency tasked with fighting extremism.
Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other charges for their participation in the attempted January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The insurrection sought to prevent the U.S. Congress from certifying the electoral victory of the 2020 presidential election.
The Some of the members on the roster say that they were a member of the Oath Keepers for only a brief while or that they don’t support the militia’s anti-government actions. Others say they joined because they support “the Second Amendment” or don’t want their kids “to grow up in a Communist country.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democratic congressman who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote of the list, “Extremism within our government is always alarming, but even more so in a department with a law enforcement and national security nexus like DHS.”
Mike German, a former undercover FBI agent who has infiltrated far-right extremist groups, wrote, “This probably represents the tip of the iceberg as far as federal law enforcement officers that have been involved in or supported the activities of far-right, militant groups like the Oath Keepers. One active law enforcement official joining a militia group is one too many.”