The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that the threat of violence from domestic and foreign terrorism remains high in the United States, and said the rise of artificial intelligence tools is likely to help foreign governments keep the spread. of misinformation and sowing mistrust.
The agency released a new report Thursday called the Homeland Threat Assessment, in which officials said they expect the threat of violence from radicalized people in the United States to remain high, but largely unchanged, next year, warned of attacks by lone offenders or small groups. “It happened without warning.”
But the agency says the influx of illegal drugs from Mexico — primarily fentanyl — will continue to “kill more Americans than any other threat.”
“Sharing information with the public about the threats we face is an essential part of protecting our homeland from today’s evolving security challenges,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
The agency specifically pointed to ongoing disinformation campaigns by foreign governments, adding that such countries hope to undermine trust in government and democratic processes. AI tools are likely to strengthen such practices, and the report points to sophisticated programs coming from Russia, China and Iran.
“Many of the tactics used by adversaries to influence American audiences are likely to be used in the run-up to the 2024 election,” the report reads. “Russia will likely continue to use traditional media, clandestine websites, social media, online bots, trolls, and individuals to amplify pro-Kremlin stories and conduct influence activities in the United States. ”
President Joe Biden has addressed the threat of domestic terrorism throughout his administration. In May, he used a commencement speech to call white supremacy “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland.”