Homeland Security Warns of Threat Posed By Homegrown Extremists

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Law enforcement agencies in San Diego and across the nation were warned of a "heightened threat environment" in the wake of the recent change of presidential administrations that could lead to acts of domestic terrorism by extremists.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin, warning that the increased threat of potential violence could persist for several weeks.

"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 warned.

A National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin issued by the DHS "describes current developments or general trends regarding threats of terrorism."

The bulletin, which expires on April 30, 2021, did not cite any specific anticipated violent attacks but did reference protests that occurred over the past year and a 2019 anti-immigration shooting carried out in El Paso, Texas, that killed 23 people.

San Diego criminal defense attorney Pedro Bernal said thousands of people could still be charged and the investigation could take months to reach a conclusion, reports NBC 7 Investigates Mari Payton.

It also noted that some extremists "may be emboldened by the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., to target elected officials and government facilities."

"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 bulletin also stated.

The bulletin also urged members of the public to report any suspicious activity and threats of violence, "including online activity," to local law enforcement or the FBI.

"Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions," the bulletin also states.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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