DEA agent arrested for participating in Jan. 6 Capitol riot by Trump supporters
- A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent has been arrested for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
- The agent, Mark Sami Ibrahim, allegedly flashed his badge and a DEA-issued handgun during the riot.
- Authorities said he entered the restricted area around the Capitol and also climbed on the Peace Memorial at the foot of Capitol Hill.
- Ibrahim, who lives in Orange County, California, was a probationary employee of the DEA. He had given notice of his planned resignation, according to a court filing
A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent has been arrested for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
The agent, Mark Sami Ibrahim, allegedly flashed his badge and a DEA-issued handgun during the riot while posing for photos with those items. Photos of him doing so are included in a court filing.
Authorities said he entered the restricted area around the Capitol and also climbed on the Peace Memorial at the foot of Capitol Hill.
And he participated "in a WhatsApp group chat with at least five other law enforcement officers" during the invasion of the Capitol grounds, the court filing said.
That filing also says that after Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by a police officer inside the Capitol, as she crawled through a window leading to the House of Representatives chamber, she was taken outside on a gurney and passed "within steps of Ibrahim."
A friend of Ibrahim's who was standing with him videotaped Babbitt as "she was being moved past them" into an ambulance," the filing said.
"Ibrahim subsequently posted that video to the WhatsApp group chat," the court filing said.
Ibrahim, who lives in Orange County, California, was a probationary employee of the DEA at the time of the riot, which began after Trump urged attendees at a rally outside the White House to march to the Capitol and fight against the confirmation by Congress of the election of Joe Biden as president that day.
He had given notice of his planned resignation several weeks before the invasion of the Capitol by a horde of Trump backers, according to the court filing.
"He was not on duty for the DEA and had no role as a law enforcement officer on the Capitol grounds," that filing said. That document also said that Ibrahim was on personal leave from the DEA when he traveled to Washington, D.C.
A friend of Ibrahim's told FBI agents that he went to the protest "to promote himself," while considering launching apodcast and cigar brand, the filing said.
Cell-phone data shows that Ibrahim arrived at the Capitol grounds at about 1:06 p.m. on Jan. 6 — about 13 minutes after a crowd began breaking down fencing barricading the grounds — and that three minutes later he "posed for several photographs in which he flashed and displayed his DEA badge and firearm."
"Ibrahim's friend took these photos at Ibrahim's request," the court document says.
Video posted on the Internet shows Ibrahim at about 1:45 p.m. that day carrying a flagpole with a flag sporting a blue five-pointed star and the words "LIBERTY OR DEATH," the court filing says. At the time, Ibrahim was about 400 feet inside the first set of fencing that had barricaded the Capitol.
"At approximately 2:10 PM, Ibrahim took a video of himself, which he subsequently posted to the WhatsApp group chat [with other law enforcement officers], standing in the crowd on a patch of grass above the United States Capitol visitor's center between the East Portico of the Capitol and the Senate," the filing says.
"Question Mark, you are carrying your duty weapon and your badge/creds?" one WhatsApp group chat member asked Ibrahim, referring to his DEA credentials, the filing noted. "I need to know this mark."
Ibrahim later became the subject of an investigation conducted by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
As part of that probe, he was questioned by an agent with the OIG's office, with his attorney present, via video conference on March 15, according to the court filing.
After being advised not to lie to the agent, which would be a federal crime, Ibrahim admitted being at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and acknowledged that he was carrying his DEA badge and credentials, as well as his agency-issued sidearm.
"Ibrahim denied that he displayed or exposed his DEA badge and firearm at the Capitol," the filing said. "Specifically, Ibrahim stated "I had my creds. I had my firearm, and my badge on me . . . But never exposed . . . Not that I know of."
"During his interview, Ibrahim acknowledged hearing the tear gas canisters going off—he said he heard the booms," the filing said.
Ibrahim also told the OIG agent that he went to the Capitol that day with a friend and relative, at the friend's request, according to the filing.
Ibrahim claimed that his friend "had been asked by the FBI to document the event, and that he went along with his friend to assist with that effort," according to the court document.
The friend later told the OIG agent that "Ibrahim crafted this story … in an effort to 'cover his a–,' " and that the friend had never received any direction from the FBI to document the riot.
"According to Ibrahim's friend, Ibrahim went to the rally in order to promote himself," the filing said. "Ibrahim had been thinking about his next move after leaving the DEA and wanted the protests to be his stage for launching a 'Liberty Tavern' political podcast and cigar brand."
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