DHS warns of threats of violence ahead of two-year anniversary of Jan. 6 attacks

Capitol Riot Seattle Police
FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent protesters, loyal to then-President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Two Seattle police officers who were in Washington, D.C., during the January 6 insurrection were illegally trespassing on Capitol grounds while rioters stormed the building, but lied about their actions, a police watchdog said in a report released Thursday, July 8, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) John Minchillo/AP

DHS warns of threats of violence ahead of two-year anniversary of Jan. 6 attacks

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The Department of Homeland Security is warning of the possibility of violence as states prepare to certify their midterm election results and as the country approaches the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The department released a terrorism advisory bulletin on Wednesday afternoon, warning there could be domestic attacks as the country remains in a “heightened threat environment.” The advisory took effect on Wednesday afternoon and is set to expire on May 24, 2023.

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“Lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland,” the DHS said in its advisory. “Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland. Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies.”

DHS officials warned there could be violence in response to the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot when more than 2,000 Trump supporters breached the Capitol in an attempt to halt the certification of the 2020 election.

The department also highlighted a number of recent attacks against the LGBT community and religious groups, placing the two demographics as some of the most at-risk targets. Others include schools, government buildings, the media, religious minorities, and “perceived ideological opponents.”

The terrorism advisory bulletin referenced the recent shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Colorado that left five people dead and another 19 injured. DHS officials cited a number of online users who have praised the alleged attacker while posting “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content” on their accounts.

The report also cited an incident in New Jersey when one person posted an online manifesto threatening attacks on Jewish synagogues, with the author claiming to be motivated by the Islamic State of Iraq and ISIS.

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DHS officials are monitoring threats of violence related to the midterm elections, warning “heightened political tensions in the country could contribute to individuals mobilizing to violence based on personalized grievances.” The report references the incident in which a man broke into the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and attacked her husband with a hammer. The alleged attacker was inspired by conspiracy theories and personal grievances, according to the DHS.

DHS officials will work with local law enforcement officials and partners on every level of government to respond to possible threats of violence, according to the department. This includes sharing information and intelligence with state government officials and to hold regular threat briefings.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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