President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security published a terrorist advisory system bulletin on Monday warning of a “heightened threat environment” nationwide.
In a statement, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin was fueled by multiple factors, including “an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.”
The statement asserted that the “threat actors” aim to “exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”
“Mass casualty attacks and other acts of targeted violence conducted by lone offenders and small groups acting in furtherance of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances pose an ongoing threat to the nation,” the statement read.
The DHS said it is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to share “timely and actionable information and intelligence with the broadest audience possible.”
The bulletin went onto to reiterate the Biden administration’s effort to combat domestic terrorism with the first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism.
Launched in June last year, the strategy’s four-pillared approach seeks to improve how domestic terrorism is defined, identified, and combated. The strategy’s main aim is to target those with racist or anti-government ideology, which the administration says is espoused by domestic terrorists.
The strategy says that experts and evidence have shown today’s domestic terrorists include those who espouse “racial or ethnic bigotry and hatred” as well as “anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.” However, anti-law enforcement ideologies such as those espoused by Antifa and Black Lives Matter were not mentioned.
“Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats,” the strategy says.
“DHS remains committed to proactively sharing timely information and intelligence about the evolving threat environment with the American public,” Sec. Mayorkas said in a statement. “We also remain committed to working with our partners across every level of government and in the private sector to prevent all forms of terrorism and targeted violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe. This NTAS Bulletin outlines the key factors that have increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the current threat environment, and highlights resources for individuals and communities to stay safe.”