Member Of Violent White Supremacist Group Holds Security Clearance

    A doctoral student with government security clearance moonlights as a member of a violent white supremacist group, ProPublica and Frontline reported Thursday.

    While working to identify the white supremacists at the center of the violent demonstrations across the country, ProPublica and Frontline looked into a video shot at the Unite the Right rally last August in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a man in a Make America Great Again hat and taped hands is seen pushing an African-American protester to the ground and pounding on him. He also turned up in video shot during hours of combat at a Trump rally in Berkeley. Wearing protective goggles to ward off pepper spray, the man wrestled one protester to the ground and punched others.

    A number of California law enforcement officials confirmed that the man, Michael Miselis, is a member of the The Rise Above Movement, a Southern California group that expresses contempt for Muslims, Jews and immigrants. He is also working as a systems engineer for Northrop Grumman, the giant defense contractor, as he pursues his Ph.D. in the aerospace engineering program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Several current and former employees at Northrop Grumman told ProPublica and Frontline that Miselis has received a security clearance to work in a computer modeling and simulation group within Northrop’s aerospace division.

    Miselis is still employed, and it is unclear if the company has taken any action against him.

    Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

    This story "White Supremacist Group Member Has Security Clearance" was written by Alyssa Fisher.

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