By R. Mitchell –
The Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism bulletin Wednesday warning against actions that may be taken by “extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority.”
Acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske issued the bulletin ahead of the controversial impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
“The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration,” DHS said. “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.”
Bulleting calls out Domesitc Violent Extremists (DVE), Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVE) inspired by foreign terror groups who may seek to target non-violent protesters to incite violent action.
– Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity. DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities.
– Long-standing racial and ethnic tension—including opposition to immigration—has driven DVE attacks, including a 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.
– DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.
– DHS remains concerned that Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist groups, who committed three attacks targeting government officials in 2020, remain a threat.
– 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.
– DHS, as well as other Federal agencies and law enforcement partners will continue to take precautions to protect people and infrastructure across the United States.
– DHS remains committed to preventing violence and threats meant to intimidate or coerce specific populations on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, identity or political views.
– DHS encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure.
As the publication is categorized as a “bulletin”, it is simply a description of general trends and does not warn of a credible terrorism threat (Elevated Alert) or a credible, specific and impending threat (Imminent Alert.)
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