WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued a national terrorism bulletin warning of potential lingering violence by domestic, violent extremists including those who might be emboldened by the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.
The department did not explicitly say there were any credible threats but said that it remains concerned and will continue to take precautions to protect Americans and infrastructures across the U.S. DHS said it consulted with law enforcement and intelligence agencies before issuing the alert about the potential for homegrown violent extremism.
The bulletin states that throughout 2020 extremists have had opposing views to a wide range of issues in the U.S. including COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and "First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity."
It also mentions racial and ethnic tensions that lead to the 2019 El Paso, Texas, mass shooting that killed 23 people.
The bulletin highlights other stressors like the U.S. Capitol riot at the beginning of the month, concerns over the recent inauguration of President Joe Biden and the police use of force protests over the past year.
"DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities," the bulletin reads. "DHS encourages state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure."
The DHS asks the public to report any suspicious activity and threats of violence, even ones posted online, to law enforcement. It encourages individuals to avoid large crowds and protests as a safety precaution.
The alert is expected to expire on April 20, 2021.
Read the full terrorism alert bulletin below.