Feds Arrest Ex-DEA Agent Shown Posing With Badge, Gun at Capitol Riot While Off-Duty

A man arrested on Tuesday for his participation in the January 6 Capitol riots was an off-duty Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent. According to a court filing, the man, Mark Sami Ibrahim, 32, allegedly posed for photographs at the Capitol with his DEA-issued badge and handgun.

Ibrahim was a probationary employee of the DEA at the time he attended the riot but had previously announced his plans to resign, according to PBS NewsHour. He had taken personal leave and traveled from his home in Orange County, California, to be in Washington, D.C. for the certification of the 2020 election on January 6. In March, the DEA suspended him after learning of his presence at the Capitol during the riots.

Speaking to authorities, Ibrahim claimed that he was attending the event at the behest of a friend, who was monitoring it for the FBI. That friend has disputed those claims, calling them a fabricated story to "cover his ass." The friend's statement appeared in a case summary prepared by a senior special agent with the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General.

Capitol riot arrests
An ex-DEA agent has been arrested for attending the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. In this photo, security fencing surrounds the U.S. Capitol building following the January 6 insurrection attempt. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Instead, Ibrahim allegedly went to the Capitol in hopes of establishing himself as a political personality after leaving the DEA.

"According to Ibrahim's friend, Ibrahim went to the rally in order to promote himself," according to the report. "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."

Ibrahim has admitted to being at the Capitol on January 6. He denied displaying any DEA paraphernalia while there in spite of the photographs obtained by authorities. Ibrahim also appeared in a video from the event in which he allegedly carries a flag that reads "Liberty of Death." He faces charges of entering restricted grounds while carrying a deadly weapon, climbing the Peace Monument near the Capitol, and lying to federal agents.

Ibrahim's attorney, Darren Richie, has claimed in a statement that his client did not actually participate in any of the violence on January 6, nor was he involved in any attempt to breach the Capitol building.

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

Newsweek reached out to the DEA for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.