The Department of Homeland Security stated Tuesday that the Supreme Court's decision on abortion, the increase in migrants at the U.S.–Mexico border, and the midterm elections could all trigger extremist violence over six months.
DHS stated in its latest National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin that the U.S. was already in a "heightened danger environment", and that these factors could worsen the situation.
DHS stated that "in the coming months, the threat environment will become more dynamic as many high-profile events could possibly be exploited in order to justify acts violence against a variety of potential targets."
This is the latest effort by Homeland Security to raise awareness about the threat posed domestically violent extremism. It is a departure from the alerts about international terrorist threats that have been a hallmark since the agency's creation in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
This bulletin only mentions threats from overseas. It mentions that al-Qaida supporters celebrated a January standoff at Colleyville's synagogue. It also mentions that Islamic State called for supporters to attack the United States in retaliation for the deaths of its leader and spokesman.
DHS warns that China and Russia and Iran are trying to incite divisions within the U.S. and weaken its position in the international community. They do this partly by spreading conspiracy theories and false news that are common in American society.
The agency stated that domestic violent extremists are the greatest threat to the country. This was cited in particular by the racist attack in Buffalo in May in which a white gunman shot and killed 10 Black people.
The bulletin, due to expire Nov. 30, stated that domestic extremists will continue calling for violence against democratic institutions, candidates, and election workers through the fall. It stated that online users had praised the massacre at Uvalde Elementary School in Texas and encouraged others to do the same.
Brian Harrell, an ex-assistant secretary at DHS, stated that the alert "reveals the fact society is becoming more violent each day." "Would be criminals and domestic terrorists will always choose the path of least resistance and, often, soft targets and crowded areas are chosen for this violence."
Speaking to reporters before the release of bulletin, a senior DHS official said that the situation is "dynamic" due to the fact that authorities are now seeing more people motivated by different grievances and incidents.
According to the official speaking under anonymity, the Supreme Court's decision on Roe v. Wade could result in violence from either extremist supporters of abortion rights or those opposed to it.