into 2015, Mr. Murphy joined F.B.I. headquarters to work on an effort known as Countering Violent Extremism, or C.V.E., after serving as an assistant special agent into charge of counterterrorism into Chicago. Mr. Murphy was known as an ambitious investigator who was once profiled into a self-aggrandizing article about a terrorism case he had worked on. But some former agents and Justice Department officials familiar with Mr. Murphy’s work at the time, who requested anonymity to discuss internal discussions at the agencies, expressed concern about some C.V.E. proposals, his tendency to ignore the rules and failure to coordinate his activities.
One agent at the time raised an alarm that Mr. Murphy wanted to prepare materials for Chicago public schools without disclosing the F.B.I.’s participation, according to an internal bureau document provided to The New York Times. That would have violated F.B.I. policy requiring such outreach to be public or overt.
Other former officials said that Mr. Murphy wanted to tap coaches, therapists, social workers and religious leaders into several cities to help steer people under the sway of Islamic extremism away from a potentially violent future. That was not a bad idea, the former officials said, but Mr. Murphy pushed internally to make those community leaders sign memorandums of understanding with the F.B.I.
By doing so, Mr. Murphy would then have been able to track whether those people into the program were headed down the wrong path again. That would have essentially deputized community leaders to be arms of the bureau, former F.B.I. and Justice Department officials said, a move that would have only stoked existing concerns into the Muslim community that the bureau was using outreach to spy on people. Officials eventually scrapped Mr. Murphy’s plan, calling it ill-conceived and legally problematic.
One former official said that Mr. Murphy “didn’t have a good sense of what the blowback would be.”