DHS Warns of Domestic Terror Threat Amid New Covid Restrictions and 9/11 Anniversary

The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a statement warning of violent extremist activity related to renewed Covid-19 restrictions and the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The statement warns of “targeted violence” as the 20th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks approaches and said, “Such threats are also exacerbated by impacts of the ongoing global pandemic, including grievances over public health safety measures and perceived government restrictions.” It continued, stating that stress related to the Covid-19 pandemic has “contributed to increased societal strains and tensions, driving several plots by domestic violent extremists, and they may contribute to more violence this year.”

Reuters reports that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told CNN that the department considers domestic violent extremists to be “the greatest terrorist-related threat to our homeland.” He also said that “false narrative” and “ideologies of hate” are fueling extremism. Democrat Representative from Mississippi and chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, Bennie Thompson, favored the warning and blamed the threat of violence on Donald Trump. He said it was “troubling that the terrorism threat increasingly is based on grievance-based violence and conspiracy theories, especially related to the election and former President Trump.”

The warning also noted that the Arabian Peninsula branch of Al Qaeda recently published an English version of their “Inspire” magazine, which the department believes is meant to motivate American followers to engage in violence. The department said they would be promoting “authoritative sources of information” to “debunk” disinformation and that they remain “committed to identifying and preventing terrorism and targeted violence while protecting the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of all persons.”

The warning of domestic terrorism comes shortly after audio was leaked of DHS Secretary Mayorkas saying that the border crisis is “unsustainable” and “we can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue, and our system isn’t built for it.”

 

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