Law enforcement agencies in the Southland and across the nation were warned today of a “heightened threat environment” still percolating from 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,” according to the bulletin.
The bulletin did not cite any specific anticipated violent attacks, but referenced protests that occurred over the past year and a 2019 anti- immigration shooting carried out in El Paso, Texas, that killed 23 people.
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,” according to the bulletin.
It 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.
The Radio Television Digital News Association was among those reacting to the bulletin, noting that the alert cites “ongoing threats toward critical infrastructure like telecommunications. RTDNA urges newsrooms to prepare safety plans and practice extra vigilance in the field.”