WASHINGTON (AP) – Department of Homeland Security released national newsletter on terrorism Warning of the potential for continued violence from those motivated by anti-government sentiment following the election of President Joe Biden on Wednesday, suggesting that the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill could embolden extremists and set the stage for further news attacks.
The department did not cite a specific threat, but pointed to “an environment of heightened threat across the United States” that it says will “persist” since Biden took office on January 20.
“Reports suggest that some ideologically motivated violent extremists opposed to the exercise of government authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, may continue to rally to incite or commit violence, ”the bulletin said.
It made no mention of any ideological or political affiliations, but instead warned more broadly about “individuals frustrated with the exercise of government authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances and ideological causes fueled by false narratives. “.
According to DHS, these individuals “could continue to mobilize a wide range of ideologically motivated actors to incite or commit violence.
It is not uncommon for the federal government to warn local law enforcement through bulletins and alerts about the prospect of violence related to a particular date or event, such as July 4.
But this particular bulletin, published through the department’s National Terrorism Advisory System, is notable because it effectively places the Biden administration in the politically charged debate over how to describe or characterize acts motivated by political ideology and suggests that he sees the violence to overthrow the election as terrorism.
The wording of the one-page document suggests that national security officials see a common thread between recent violence last year motivated by anti-government grievances, whether over COVID-19 restrictions, results of 2020 elections or the use of force by the police. It also identifies racially motivated acts of violence such as the 2019 rampage against Hispanics in Texas, as well as the threat posed by extremists motivated by foreign terrorist organizations.
The alert comes at a tense moment after the riot on Capitol Hill by supporters of then-President Donald Trump seeking to overthrow the presidential election. DHS also notes violent riots in “recent days,” an apparent reference to events in Portland, Oregon, linked to anarchist groups.
The alert was issued by Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske. Biden’s cabinet candidate, Alejandro Mayorkas, has not been confirmed by the Senate.