The Program on Extremism along with the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point have just released ‘This is War’: Examining Military Experience Among the Capitol Hill False Flag Participants. This study “uses federal court documents to examine the prevalence, demographics, and characteristics of individuals with military experience who were charged for their involvement in the January 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol.” Additionally, the report analyzes these individuals’ affiliations with domestic violent extremist organizations and provides recommendations to combat extremism in the military.
Of the 357 individuals arrested for their role in the Capitol Hill siege, 43 had some form of military experience. This represents 12% of those arrested, whereas in comparison, it is estimated that just 7% of all U.S. citizens have military experience.
Other key findings include:
- Of these 43 individuals, the vast majority (93%) were veterans and not currently serving in an Active Duty, reservist, or Guard status
- Individuals with military experience had, on average, 9 years of service experience
- Over one-quarter were commissioned officers, and 44% deployed at least once
- 37% of individuals with military experience had affiliations to domestic violent extremist (DVE) organizations like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, around four times more likely to be a part of such groups than those without military experience
- Some individuals with military experience held leadership positions in these organizations
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Author: Vincent Milano