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Navy contractor arrested in Capitol riot was a known white supremacist

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.

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Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbetice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two named Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

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Data: CDC; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

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Why it matters: It's not a complete solution to the racial barriers women of color face. But some experts are optimistic that telehealth — long-distance health care through videoconferences and other technology — can help reduce those barriers by offering flexibility in appointments and better access to diverse providers.

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