On Wednesday the Department of Homeland Security issued a new "National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin" or NTAS for the United States.
Past updated bulletins in more "normal" times typically mention not being aware of a specific or credible threats, or there's often vague warnings of a potential "Iranian threat" - such as was the case last spring in the wake of the killing of Iranian IRGC General Qassem Soleimani.
But the newest DHS posting emphasized the "domestic threat" of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists" with objections to "the presidential transition" — a clear reference to the Capitol Hill riot of January 6, as well as to the "predicted" follow-up mass demonstrations and assaults on D.C. which never materialized (resulting in thousands of bored National Guardsmen sauntering around Washington).
NEW: DHS Issues a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) January 27, 2021
"Some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition ... could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence." pic.twitter.com/rLMIUaL1cu
DHS believes the threat will "persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration," the bulletin says.
According to the DHS summary of the threat:
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.
Worrisomely for free speech rights in America, this comes on the heels of a coordinated Silicon Valley move to purge pro-Trump related accounts on major social media platforms.
So the trend looks to likely continue, given increasingly innocent online users are often lumped into "extremism" in a guilt by association scenario.
On this note, the bulletin advises the following:
- We ask the public to report suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity, to local law enforcement, FBI Field Offices, or their local Fusion Center.
The DHS advisory further lists as motives fueling "Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs)" the following:
"DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities."
In particular the bulletin references the 2019 shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 23 people.
Given the very broad "motives" which are included under the category of "perceived grievances fueled by false narratives" - for example being angry over COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns etc.. - this appears a recipe for alleging "potential terrorist" with a very broad brush.