Friday, December 09, 2022

DHS predicts rising insurgency in the medium term

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – An impending Supreme Court ruling on abortion, a surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border and midterm elections are potential triggers of extremist violence over the next six months, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.

DHS said in the latest National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin that the US was already in an “enhanced threat environment”, and that these factors could worsen the situation.

“In the coming months, we expect the threat environment to become more dynamic as many high-profile incidents can be exploited to justify acts of violence against potential targets,” the DHS said.

Read more: Examining the warning signs of online extremism targeting young people

It is the latest effort by Homeland Security to draw attention to the threat posed by domestic violent extremism, a change from the international terrorism alert that had been a hallmark of the agency after its creation following the September 11, 2001 attacks. .

Actually, this bulletin only mentions the dangers caused by foreign rates. It notes that al-Qaeda supporters celebrated the January standoff at a synagogue in Colville, Texas. And it noted that the Islamic State group called on supporters to launch strikes in the United States to avenge the killings of the group’s leader and spokesman.

DHS also warned that China, Russia, Iran and other countries seek to create divisions within the US to undermine its position in the country and the world. In part, they do so by amplifying conspiracy theories and false reports pervading American society.

Domestic violent extremists, however, present the most pressing and potentially violent threat, the agency said, citing the racist attack, for example, in which a white gunman killed 10 black people in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket in May. was given.

The bulletin, which is due to expire on November 30, said calls for violence directed at democratic institutions, candidates and election workers by domestic extremists are likely to increase through the fall. It said people on online forums praised the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and encouraged copycat attacks.

“The alert highlights the fact that society is becoming more violent every day,” said Brian Harrell, a former assistant secretary at DHS. “Will criminals and domestic terrorists always use the path of least resistance, and often mild targets and crowded places are chosen for this violence.”

A senior DHS official, speaking to reporters ahead of the bulletin’s release, said it described the situation as “dynamic” because officials could see a wider variety of complaints and incidents than previously thought. has been

Read more: Senate GOP halts domestic terrorism bill, debate on gun policy after 2 recent mass shootings

The upcoming Supreme Court decision, which overturns Roe v. Wade, could lead to violence from extremist supporters or opponents of abortion rights, depending on the outcome, the official said on condition of anonymity to discuss some of the factors. . In preparation for the bulletin.

DHS said racial extremists may be motivated by immigration enforcement or whether the government continues to rely on Title 42, the public health order used since the start of the coronavirus pandemic to prevent people from seeking refuge at the southwest border is done.

The agency and the FBI are working with state and local law enforcement to raise awareness of the threat, and DHS has increased grant money to local governments and religious organizations to improve security, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Meyerkas said in a statement. bulletin

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