DHS Warns Of Potential Domestic Terror Threat
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a domestic terrorism bulletin, alerting the public of potential violence from people angered by the presidential transition and harbor antigovernment perspectives.
The bulletin, issued Wednesday (Jan. 27), does not specify a particular threat but notes that an element of extremists may look to cause trouble. The deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, officials say, may embolden them to make further attempts.
“Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” the bulletin reads.
Based on the information from the bulletin, national security authorities apparently believe extremists could be motivated by multiple events last year, ranging from protest marches to coronavirus lockdowns, the results of the 2020 election, and police use of force. In some cases, attacks on government facilities have taken place.
The bulletin also cites racial and ethnic tension has driven attacks for some time, and concern has risen that extremists will continue those actions through 2021 and that threats against government buildings and officials will persist.
“Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions,” the bulletin reads.
In the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol siege, several extremist groups were said to be linked to that incident, driven by false narratives and conspiracy theories. That has alarmed people who watch such groups.
“Make no mistake – right-wing groups including the Proud Boys, Boogaloos, Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, and hundreds more continue to object to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition after being called to action by Trump, members of the Republican Party, and right-wing media, said Susan Cooke, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, in a statement. “Their lies about election fraud and their advancement of wild conspiracy theories continue to mobilize those radicalized by their deceit to incite or commit violence.”
According to the Associated Press, the DHS bulletin was issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske. President Biden’s nominee for the cabinet post, Alejandro Mayorkas, has not yet been confirmed by the Senate.