The Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory on Wednesday warning of further potential attacks from domestic extremists following the election of President Joe Biden.
DHS, citing a heightened threat environment across the country in its national terrorism bulletin, said people opposed to government authority and the presidential transition could continue to “mobilize to incite or commit violence.”
The alert did not mention a specific threat, but said that “long-standing racial and ethnic tension” and anger over Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and police use of force could inspire further attacks through the first months of 2021, potentially against government facilities and elected officials.
The bulletin, issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske, comes three weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters staged a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn Biden’s electoral win. DHS said it was concerned that the Jan. 6 insurrection could embolden some violent extremists to carry out further attacks across the U.S.
The alert also said the proliferation of misinformation and conspiracy theories could incite violence by extremists with “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”
“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 said in the alert.
In his inaugural address, Biden vowed to confront domestic extremism head-on in his administration, which has made it a top priority for the National Security Council. Biden’s nominee to head DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas, called domestic extremism “one of the greatest challenges” the agency faces during his confirmation hearing earlier this month. It’s unclear when Mayorkas will be confirmed.
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