A pair of U.S. intelligence bulletins Department of Homeland Security marked the upcoming anniversaries of two domestic attacks – the murder of 23 people in El Paso, Texas in 2019 and the murderous white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 – as well as the nation’s emergence of Covid-19 restrictions as potential flashpoints for violence.
Federal authorities have not identified any specific threat but warned that “Violent extremists may seek to exploit” the easing of pandemic restrictions as well as “increased access to mass gatherings” and possible spikes in violence during the summer months “to carry out attacks against a range of potential targets with little to no warning, ”according to ABC News.
Another newsletter said law enforcement “continues to scan publicly available social media for explicit threats of violence” as the anniversaries of large-scale domestic violence attacks approach, according to Politics.
The FBI prosecuted the murders of 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019 as a hate crime and act of domestic terror, after a gunman was allegedly inspired by New Zealand mosque shootings and theories of the white supremacist conspiracy committed the biggest attack on Latin Americans in recent history.
In 2017, a rally featuring neo-Nazis and other far-right groups in Charlottesville turned violent, and a self-identified white supremacist drove a car into a crowd, killing a woman and injuring 19 people.
The DHS report is also addressed to supporters of QAnon, immersed in a decentralized belief system that has whitewashed disinformation and conspiracy theories related to violence from the dark corners of the internet to mainstream social media channels.
QAnon supporters “continue to promote the idea” that Donald Trump will return to power in August, according to the report.
The agencies “have no evidence of threats associated with the August date, but historically some [domestic violent extremists, or DVEs] carried out acts of violence in the service of conspiracy theories, ”according to the bulletin consulted by Politico.
The bulletin, released on Monday, marks at least the third time in the month that federal law enforcement has issued warnings about potential threats of conspiracy theory violence, including the baseless idea that the he former president will be reinstated.
Last week, a senior counterterrorism official told members of Congress During a private briefing, the agencies were monitoring allegations online about the conspiracy theory, according to Politico.
The vast online movement, increasingly frustrated with calls to “trust the plan” as its predictions fail to materialize, may start to engage in “real-world violence” against lawmakers and enemies. perceived policies, according to an unclassified FBI report published earlier this month.
QAnon supporters may begin to believe they have an “obligation” to step up beyond “digital soldiers” to carry out their prophesied violence rather than continue to wait for instructions, according to FBI document and DHS and consulted by The independent.
Last month, DHS renewed a newsletter on terrorism in the wake of the “increasingly complex and volatile” threats facing the United States, including from “individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence” exploited on social media and exacerbated by the pandemic.
Following the January 6 Capitol uprising and Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the agency issued a bulletin warning that anti-government “ideologically motivated violent extremists” motivated by “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives ”could“ continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence ”at the national level.
This notice expired at the end of April.
The updated advisory – which expires Aug. 13 – maintains that these threats continue to spread online “with the intent to incite violence” against elected officials, government facilities, law enforcement and “individuals perceived as ideologically opposed”.