The Biden administration is offering a reward to anyone who can provide information about how to locate violent extremists in law enforcement.
The Department of Homeland Security has set aside $500,000 to finance research projects aimed at figuring out how violent extremists infiltrate the police force.
According to the grants.gov request for proposals, “The goal of this solicitation is to contribute to a comprehensive and extensive understanding of insider threats facing domestic law enforcement agencies.”
“Objectives of this effort will identify high-quality data to understand the risks posed to the United States by the potential for violent extremist organizations or lone actors to infiltrate law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and other government institutions,” the RFP says.
Lawmakers in four states and Washington, D.C., want to give law enforcement agencies more power to exclude people with extremist ties from police ranks. But the proposals they thought were straightforward have encountered a thicket of obstacles.https://t.co/ErKDrnQqQP
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 11, 2021
According to NBC, the request for proposals comes as Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department is undertaking an internal study to determine how to root out extremists from federal law enforcement ranks.
“The heads of all of our law enforcement agencies have met with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to decide how we can carefully vet our own employees,” Garland said.
The Justice Department, according to Garland, was “being mindful of First Amendment free associational rights, but at the same time being careful that we don’t have people in our ranks who commit criminal acts or who are not able to carry out their duties.”
A similar investigation is being carried out by the Department of Homeland Security.
Attorney General Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas say the greatest domestic threat facing the U.S. comes from “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”
“Specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race.” https://t.co/Ybzi7djZHn
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 12, 2021
According to the DHS RFP, the federal government needs more information about police threats.
“Reviewing and analyzing research from fields such as criminology, mental health, psychology, and sociology will help determine gaps in current knowledge and counter the threats posed by violent extremists and violent ideologies to United States LEAs and the public,” it said.
DHS said it is seeking “recommendations for detecting, deterring, and mitigating the potential for insider threats facing domestic law enforcement agencies through infiltration by violent extremist organizations or lone actors.”
“Knowledge and findings from this research will be transferred to federal, state, local, and private organizations to enable education and awareness to reinforce a whole-of-society prevention architecture while respecting civil rights and civil liberties,” the DHS document said.
“These prevention efforts will equip and empower local efforts – including peers, teachers, community leaders, and law enforcement—to minimize a threat as it evolves while enhancing emergency preparedness and response.”
According to NBC, Garland recently called domestic terrorism “an new and accelerating threat” that was just as concerning to him as international terrorism.
“Both forms of terrorism are of extraordinary concern to me. We never want to take our eyes off of what happened on 9/11 and the risks that our country continues to face from foreign-origin attacks on the homeland,” he said.
“Likewise, we have a growing fear of domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism. Both of those keep me up at night,” he said.