U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has asked two Cabinet departments for the names of government officials working on programs to counter violent extremism, according to a document seen by Reuters and U.S. officials.
The requests to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security involve a set of programs that seek to prevent violence by extremists of any stripe, including recruitment by militant Islamist groups within the United States and abroad.
Reuters could not determine why the Trump team asked for these names. The Trump team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has frequently criticized President Barack Obama for not doing enough to battle Islamic militants and for his refusal to use the term "radical Islam" to describe Islamic State and other militant groups.
Some career officials said they feared the incoming administration may be looking to undo the work that the Obama administration has done on countering violent extremism.
"They're picking a few issues to ask for people's names," said one government official who spoke on condition of anonymity, reflecting wider fears that those who worked on such issues could be marginalized by the new administration.
Earlier this month, Trump representatives had asked the U.S. Energy Department for the names of staffers who worked on climate change policy. The White House expressed concern that it may have been an attempt to target civil servants, including scientists and lawyers. The Energy Department balked at providing names and a Trump spokesman disavowed the request.
The State Department declined to comment on specific requests from the Trump transition team. The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.
In a Dec. 9 email seen by Reuters, Trump representatives at the State Department sought a list of positions in the counterterrorism bureau's office of countering violent extremism.
"Please indicate names of people serving in those roles and status (political or career)," the email said, referring to political appointees and career civil servants.