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FBI barricades headquarters in DC

Standing on Pennsylvania Avenue NW and look up F Street NW at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C., in the United States (Aude/Wikimedia Commons)
August 15, 2022

Authorities erected barricades around the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters office in Washington, D.C. over the weekend. The bureau claims it has seen an increase in threats against the FBI and its agents in the wake of the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home last week. 

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Associated Press reporter Mike Balsamo tweeted photos of the new barricades around the FBI headquarters. 

“With an increasing number of threats against the FBI and agents, including an armed man who tried to breach a field office in Ohio, officials have put up barricades around FBI headquarters in DC. Similar fencing was put up after the unrest in DC in 2020 & after the Capitol riot,” he wrote. 

On Friday, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a joint bulletin warning of an increase in threats against federal law enforcement, according to CBS News. The bulletin suggested that the threats are the result of the FBI’s unprecedented search of Trump’s home. According to the unsealed search warrant, Trump is under investigation for possible espionage act violations and obstruction of justice.

“The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in threats to federal law enforcement and, to a lesser extent, other law enforcement and government officials following the FBI’s recent execution of a search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida,” the joint bulletin stated. “These threats are occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards. The FBI and DHS would like to ensure that law enforcement, court, and government personnel are aware of the range of threats and criminal and violent incidents.”

The bulletin further stated that both the FBI and DHS have “observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion.'”

The threats are “specific in identifying proposed targets, tactics, or weaponry,” the bulletin warned. 

“Since 8 August 2022, the FBI and DHS have identified multiple articulated threats and calls for the targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials associated with the Palm Beach search, including the federal judge who approved the Palm Beach search warrant,” it continued. “The FBI and DHS have also observed the personal identifying information of possible targets of violence, such as home addresses and identification of family members, disseminated online as additional targets.”

The bulletin stated that future domestic violent extremist attacks could include “law enforcement, judicial officials, individuals implicated in conspiracy theories and perceived ideological opponents who challenge their worldview.”

The FBI and DHS also warned that domestic violent extremists “may view the 2022 midterm election as an additional flashpoint around which to escalate threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement personnel.”