US terrorism alert warns of politically motivated violence

The department did not cite a specific threat, but pointed to “a heightened threat environment across the United States” that it believes “will persist” for weeks after Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

News 12 Staff

Jan 28, 2021, 3:30 AM

Updated 1,171 days ago

Share:

The Department of Homeland Security issued a national terrorism bulletin Wednesday warning of the potential for lingering violence from people motivated by anti-government sentiment after President Joe Biden's election, suggesting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol may embolden extremists and set the stage for additional attacks.
The department did not cite a specific threat, but pointed to “a heightened threat environment across the United States” that it believes “will persist” for weeks after Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.
It is not uncommon for the federal government to warn local law enforcement through bulletins about the prospect for violence tied to a particular date or event, such as July 4.
But this particular bulletin, issued through the the department’s National Terrorism Advisory System, is notable because it effectively places the Biden administration into the politically charged debate over how to describe or characterize acts motivated by political ideology and suggests that it sees violence aimed at overturning the election as akin to terrorism.
The wording of the document suggests that national security officials see a connective thread between recent violence over the last year motivated by anti-government grievances, whether over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and police use of force. It also singles out racially motivated acts of violence such as the 2019 rampage targeting Hispanics in Texas, as well as the threat posed by extremists motivated by foreign terrorist organizations.
“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,” the bulletin said.
It did not mention any ideological or political affiliation, while noting the potential for violence from “a broad range of ideologically-motivated actors.”
The alert comes at a tense time after the riot at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump who were seeking to overturn the presidential election. DHS also noted violent riots in “recent days,” an apparent reference to events in Portland, Oregon, linked to anarchist groups.
The alert was issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske. Biden’s nominee for the Cabinet post, Alejandro Mayorkas, has not been confirmed by the Senate.
Two former homeland security secretaries, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano, called on the Senate to confirm Mayorkas so he can start working with the FBI and other agencies and deal with the threat posed by domestic extremists, among other issues.
Chertoff, who served under President George W. Bush, said in a conference call with reporters that attacks by far-right, domestic extremists are not new but that deaths attributed to them in recent years in the U.S. have exceeded those linked to jihadists such as al-Qaida. “We have to be candid and face what the real risk is,” he said.
Federal authorities have charged more than 150 people in the Capitol siege, including some with links to right-wing extremist groups such as the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers.
The Justice Department announced charges Wednesday against 43-year Ian Rogers, a California man found with five pipe bombs during a search of his business this month who had a sticker associated with the Three Percenters on his vehicle. His lawyer told his hometown newspaper, The Napa Valley Register, that he is a “very well-respected small business owner, father, and family man” who does not belong to any violent organizations.
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


More from News 12
1:57
7 motorized scooters stolen from Williston Park garage; thieves contacted victim offering to sell them back

7 motorized scooters stolen from Williston Park garage; thieves contacted victim offering to sell them back

2:42
Chance for showers Saturday, mostly sunny for Sunday

Chance for showers Saturday, mostly sunny for Sunday

1:55
Dozens come out to exhibit to purchase art pieces depicting scenic North Shore

Dozens come out to exhibit to purchase art pieces depicting scenic North Shore

0:26
Shirley man pleads guilty to murder, setting victim's body on fire

Shirley man pleads guilty to murder, setting victim's body on fire

0:20
Freeport photographer accused of forcibly touching teen at Lindenhurst studio

Freeport photographer accused of forcibly touching teen at Lindenhurst studio

0:41
Judge dismisses Blakeman's lawsuit against AG's office connected to transgender athlete ban

Judge dismisses Blakeman's lawsuit against AG's office connected to transgender athlete ban

0:22
Officials: Fire breaks out at home near Wyandanch High School

Officials: Fire breaks out at home near Wyandanch High School

0:28
Police: Yonkers man charged for Old Westbury gas station robbery from nearly a year ago

Police: Yonkers man charged for Old Westbury gas station robbery from nearly a year ago

0:32
Beloved Franklin Square principal returns to Polk Street School following unexplained leave of absence

Beloved Franklin Square principal returns to Polk Street School following unexplained leave of absence

0:44
AG James announces over $1M settlement with Northwell Health for misleading COVID-19 patients

AG James announces over $1M settlement with Northwell Health for misleading COVID-19 patients

1:19
Authorities: Woman injured after shots fired into home in Mastic Beach

Authorities: Woman injured after shots fired into home in Mastic Beach

1:55
LI school districts wait for answers as state budget delays continue

LI school districts wait for answers as state budget delays continue

0:47
Long Island Restaurant Week: Lake View Grill, Legends, Dimon Estate

Long Island Restaurant Week: Lake View Grill, Legends, Dimon Estate

1:12
The East End: Take a tour of the The Shoppes at East Wind

The East End: Take a tour of the The Shoppes at East Wind

1:37
The Real Deal: How to save the next time you dine out

The Real Deal: How to save the next time you dine out

Guide: Long Island Public Golf Courses

Guide: Long Island Public Golf Courses

2:29
Multiple independent audits document a pattern of fiscal distress at Amityville schools

Multiple independent audits document a pattern of fiscal distress at Amityville schools

1:24
Police: Mother arrested for leaving 2 children unattended in a car near the Green Acres Mall

Police: Mother arrested for leaving 2 children unattended in a car near the Green Acres Mall

0:27
Police: Babylon man pointed gun at teen and his father

Police: Babylon man pointed gun at teen and his father

0:44
Long Island Restaurant Week: Carpaccio, Piccolo Ristorante, Stella Trattoria and Bar

Long Island Restaurant Week: Carpaccio, Piccolo Ristorante, Stella Trattoria and Bar