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Blowing cover

Former FBI informant who thwarted KKK-law enforcement murder plots goes public for his own safety

From 2007 to 2018, Joseph Moore was an undercover informant for the FBI embedded in Florida chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, working to identify and expose law enforcement officials who moonlighted as Klansmen. After he testified against three state prison guards who had recruited him to murder a former inmate, Moore got a new name and moved with his family to a Florida subdivision, and he went public Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, he said, in part because he believes the Klan has tracked him down and wants to harm him, his wife, and their four kids.

"Over the 10-year span of my operations, I uncovered people that were former military, current military, former law enforcement, current law enforcement — state, local, and county level" — and also members of the Klan, Moore told AP.

The FBI recruited Moore, an Army veteran, to infiltrate the United Northern and Southern Knights of the KKK in northern Florida in 2007, and he helped unmask a deputy of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and Fruitland Park Police Department and alerted the FBI to a KKK plot to murder a Latino truck driver, AP reports. When his FBI handler learned Moore had told his wife about his secret identity, he was dropped as an informant.

Then, in 2013, an FBI agent who had worked with Moore recruited him to go undercover in the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Within a year, he had risen to the rank of Grand Knight Hawk, or KKK security, and the chapter's "Exalted Cyclops," Charles Newcomb, involved him in a plot by Newcomb and two other Florida state prison guards to murder a Black former inmate who had gotten in a fight with a Klan brother.

Moore wore a wire and then testified against the three men, and all three went to prison. They are all due for release in a few years. Moore told AP he would like Florida law enforcement agencies to investigate the Klansmen, white supremacists, and other violent extremists he knows are in their midst, despite their denials

"If you want to know why people don't trust the police, it's because they have a relative or friend that they witness being targeted by an extremist who happens to have a badge and a gun," Moore said. Read more about his story at The Associated Press.