Congressional Investigation Into Link Between Veterans and Extremism Launched




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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) April 22, 2021 – The House Veterans’ Affairs committee has launched an official investigation into the targeted recruitment of veterans and other military service members by extremist groups. This comes in response to the attack on the Capital in January, which left six people dead.
The military has long suspected a link between extremist groups and veterans, fearing that current and former servicemen and women are specifically being lured into involvement with domestic hate groups. They are attractive recruits for their combat experience and familiarity with military and government processes and can be vulnerable to tactics used to get people to accept extreme ideologies. 
Arrest records from the Capital attack obtained by the New York Times showed that one in five people arrested that day were veterans. That number lies in stark contrast with the fact that veterans and current service members comprise only seven percent of the general population. 
“The high number of veterans involved in the attack on the Capital is deeply troubling,” said veteran and VA disability attorney James G. Fausone of Legal Help for Veterans in Northville, Michigan. “It is difficult to say with certainty how extremist groups reach veterans and what they do to attract them to adopt problematic beliefs, but plenty of anecdotal evidence is there to support that this is happening.”
Other efforts to learn more about extremists and the military are in the works. The Senate Armed Services Committee and newly appointed VA Secretary Denis McDonough have also vowed to find out more about the problem and what can be done to prevent additional activity in the future. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a 60-day stand-down to review extremism in the military after the Capital attack. New provisions in the recently passed fiscal 2021 defense authorization act were included to create a new deputy inspector general who will oversee diversity and inclusion issues and supremacist and extremist activity.
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