Department of Homeland Security pointed to “a heightened threat environment across the United States,” and said it will persist for weeks.
On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a nationwide terrorism bulletin, alerting of the potential for violence from domestic anti-government extremists opposed to Joe Biden as president, suggesting that the US Capitol attack may encourage extremists and result in additional attacks.
The alert came into effect on Wednesday and will expire on April 30. DHS did not mention any potential attack but pointed to “a heightened threat environment across the United States” and that it believes will persist for weeks following Biden’s January 20 inauguration.
The bulletin issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske stated, “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 specifically highlighted the recent Capitol attack and 2019 shooting in El Paso in Texas, as it pointed towards “racial and ethnic tension” and danger to elected officials and government facilities.
According to multiple media reports, this bulletin through the department’s National Terrorism Advisory System is significant as it indicates that the Biden administration views violence at the Capitol as an act of terrorism. Reports also stated that the bulletin indicates that the national security officials see a connective thread between different episodes of violence in the last year motivated by anti-government grievances, including over Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and police use of force.
Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Rep Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) said: “I am glad to see that DHS fully recognizes the threat posed by violent, right-wing extremists and is taking efforts to communicate that threat to the American people.”
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