The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday warned of an increased threat of extremist violence over the next six months, as midterm elections, the potential downfall of Roe v. Wade, and surging migration at the southern border exacerbate tensions nationwide.
In its latest National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin, the DHS said the U.S. was already in a "heightened threat environment," and that the aforementioned factors could make matters worse.
"In the coming months, we expect the threat environment to become more dynamic as several high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets," DHS wrote.
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The bulletin notably focused far more on homegrown extremism than that from abroad, and said "calls for violence by domestic extremists directed at democratic institutions, candidates, and election workers will likely increase through the fall," writes The Associated Press. On quite a frightening note, the department also noted that individuals online have praised the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas and even encouraged copycat attacks, AP adds. Elsewhere, the fate of both public health order Title 42 and federal reproductive rights might also spur violence.
"The alert highlights the fact that society is becoming more violent every single day," Brian Harrell, former DHS official, told AP. "Would-be criminals and domestic terrorists will always use the path of least resistance, and often times soft targets and crowded places are picked for this violence."
The DHS and the FBI are collaborating with state and local law enforcement to raise awareness of the issue.
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