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Why the DHS just issued a terrorism bulletin

The DHS issued a terrorism alert for potential threat from domestic anti-government extremist

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo violent rioters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol in Washington.
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent rioters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol in Washington.
Associated Press

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a nationwide terrorism bulletin that warns of a potential threat from domestic anti-government extremists, including “ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition.”

  • “Information suggests that 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,” the bulletin said, according to PBS.
  • The bulletin was shared “due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration,” according to the DHS.

The warning was issued at 11 a.m. ET on Jan. 27. It will expire on April 30, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET.

More details

The DHS said in its alert that “long-standing racial and ethnic tension — including opposition to immigration — has driven” domestic violent extremists to issue attacks.

  • The alert specifically mentions the 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.

The DHS “is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., to target elected officials and government facilities.”

Per Reuters, no specific threat was included in the bulletin.

  • CNN reports that the DHS issued a bulletin that said domestic extremists will post a threat to the presidential inauguration back on Jan. 14.

What’s next?

The department will take precautions to protect people and infrastructure across the United States. The department said state, local, tribal and territorial homeland security officials should build up security, too.

  • “DHS remains committed to preventing violence and threats meant to intimidate or coerce specific populations on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, identity or political views,” according to the DHS.

Correction: This article previously said the DHS statement was an alert. It was a bulletin. A DHS elevated alert “warns of a credible terrorism threat against the United States” and an imminent alert “warns of a credible, specific and impending terrorism threat against the United States.”