DEA agent arrested for participating in US Capitol riot, allegedly flashing his badge & firearm while off duty

An off-duty US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent who allegedly flashed his badge and gun while standing outside the Capitol during the January 6 riot has been arrested for entering a restricted area with a firearm.

The agent, Mark Sami Ibrahim of Orange County, California, also stands accused of making a false statement to Department of Justice investigators because he denied displaying his badge or pistol at the Capitol, according to an indictment filed against him earlier this month. He was arrested on Tuesday in Washington.

Ibrahim was charged despite the fact that he's not accused of participating in the riot or engaging in any violence when election-fraud protesters breached the Capitol. He had told investigators that he was in Washington to help a friend document the protest for the FBI, but the friend said he attended the event to promote himself for a post-DEA career as a podcast host.

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FILE PHOTO: Members of the 'Oath Keepers' militia protest against the certification of the 2020 US presidential election on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, January 6, 2021 © Reuters / Jim Bourg
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Dozens of law enforcement officers across the US have come under scrutiny for their presence at the Capitol protest. President Joe Biden and other Democrat politicians have framed the breach as a major act of domestic terrorism, rooted in racism, and “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”

“This indictment results from conjecture, political pressure and a flawed attempt to paint a specific narrative through pictures taken wholly out of context,” defense lawyer Darren Richie said in a statement. “Mr. Ibrahim firmly believes the truth shall always prevail.”

Ibrahim was a probationary employee of the DEA and had notified the agency of his intention to resign before the riot. He told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in March that immediately upon returning to California, the DEA took away his badge and gun and suspended him. He was fired two months later, which he claimed was wrongful termination.

Prosecutors alleged that Ibrahim entered a restricted area on Capitol grounds and climbed on the Peace Memorial at the foot of Capitol Hill. He participated in a WhatsApp group chat with at least five other law enforcement officers, the criminal complaint said, and posted a photograph of himself standing next to one of the barricades that the crowd had pulled apart.

Other photos included in the indictment show him posting with his jacket held up to expose his badge and gun. Another shot places him in a spot about 180 feet inside the barricades, prosecutors said.

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FILE PHOTO: Supporters of Donald Trump demonstrate inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021 © Reuters / Mike Theiler
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