DHS uses federal alert system for the first time in a year to warn of a national terrorist threat

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Using a federal system designed to warn all Americans of terrorist threats to the American homeland, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that the anger “fueled by false narratives,” particularly unsubstantiated allegations about the presidential election of 2020, could lead to it inside the country. launch attacks in the coming weeks.

“Reports suggest that some ideologically motivated violent extremists who oppose the exercise of government authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, may continue to rally to urge or commit violence, ”according to a bulletin released Wednesday through the DHS National Terrorist Advisory System – or NTAS.

The system was last used to issue a public warning a year ago, when DHS issued a bulletin on Iran’s potential retaliation for the US assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq within days. earlier. A year before that, DHS issued a newsletter through the same system to highlight the threat from foreign terrorist groups like ISIS or Al-Qaida.

But over the past year, domestic terrorists “driven by a slew of issues driven by a slew of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and the use of force by the police planned and sometimes carried out attacks on the government. facilities ”, and“ long-standing racial and ethnic tensions – including opposition to immigration – [domestic terrorist] attacks ”, indicates the bulletin published Wednesday.

“DHS fears that these same factors of violence will persist until early 2021 and that some [domestic terrorists] may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 violation of the US Capitol in Washington, DC to target elected officials and government facilities, ”the bulletin added.

Violent supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol three weeks ago, many of them believing – based on unfounded allegations by Trump himself – that the presidential election of 2020 had been stolen from Trump by fraud.

Wednesday’s public warning echoes what intelligence bulletins sent privately to law enforcement officials in recent weeks have said, highlighting a continued threat from those subject to violence who still believe the he election of President Joe Biden was illegitimate.

The NTAS system “recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the security of the nation, and should always be aware of the increased risk of terrorist attack in the United States and what they should do,” the DHS says on its website.

The system was created in 2011, replacing the color-coded alerts implemented in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

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