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Trump supporters assaulting police officers outside of the U.S. Capitol US Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, a U.S. Army reservist and a security contractor for the Navy who was arrested for allegedly breaching the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot, was a known white supremacist, federal prosecutors said Friday, as first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: "Not only is Defendant's White Supremacist and Nazi Sympathizer ideology obvious from the evidence, that same ideology drives Defendant's enthusiasm for another Civil War," prosecutors said.

  • Hale-Cusanelli allegedly discussed his hatred of Jews, minorities and women while working as a security contractor at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Context: A new filing from federal prosecutors on Friday included the results of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation into Hale-Cusanelli.

  • The investigation included interviews with 44 of Hale-Cusanelli's colleagues, 34 of whom agreed that he held “extremist or radical views pertaining to the Jewish people, minorities, and women.”

What they're saying: One of Hale-Cusanelli's colleagues said the defendant had "shaved his facial hair into a 'Hitler mustache,'" and prosecutors extracted photos of the mustache from Hale-Cusanelli's phone.

  • A Navy petty officer told investigators they remembered Hale-Cusanelli saying, "Hitler should have finished the job."

The big picture: Hale-Cusanelli’s case has received attention from the military because his reservist status and his employment at a military facility and underscores the challenges the Department of Defense faces while attempting to combat extremist ideologies within the ranks of the armed forces.

  • The Pentagon reported this month that domestic extremist groups have attempted to recruit active and former service members into their ranks.
  • Several former military members and police officers participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which the FBI classified as domestic terrorism.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last month ordered commanding officers and supervisors to eventually hold a one-day "stand-down" to discuss extremism within the armed forces.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

"Horrified": AP, Al Jazeera condemn Israel's bombing of their offices in Gaza

A ball of fire erupts from the Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.

What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Health

The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

The Wuhan Institute of Virology. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.