The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued a nationwide terrorism alert warning citizens of “domestic violent extremists” who could incite or commit violence.
"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," Acting DHS Secretary David Pekoske wrote in an official advisory that lasts until April 30.
Although no evidence of a credible attack was found, Pekoski said violent homegrown extremists could be inspired by foreign terrorist groups or bent on destruction due to "anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force."
It's happened before, federal authorities said, pointing to the U.S. Capitol attack earlier this month, a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart in 2019 and various attacks in recent years on public officials.
White supremacist extremists, in particular, “remain the most persistent and lethal threat," DHS said.
“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 department added.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL ALERT: Department of Homeland Security National Terrorism Advisory
"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," the bulletin says. "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."
The advisory followed a directive from President Joe Biden that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct threat assessments.
“The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. "The Biden administration will approach this threat with the necessary resources and resolve.”
Homeland Security officials asked citizens to report suspicious activity and threats, however small -- including those made online, to local law enforcement or the FBI.
They also advised people to avoid large crowds and protests.
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