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The DHS issued a new warning that calls for violence by domestic violent extremists would increase as we head into the mid-term elections.
DHS Warns About Calls For Violence From Domestic Extremists During Midterm Election
“As the United States enters mid-term election season this year, we assess that calls for violence by domestic violent extremists directed at democratic institutions, political candidates, party offices, election events, and election workers will likely increase,” warns a new Department of Homeland Security National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin issued on Monday.
“As recent acts of violence in communities across the country have so tragically demonstrated, the nation remains in a heightened threat environment, and we expect that environment will become more dynamic in the coming months,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA.
They listed a few examples, emphasis mine:
Several recent violent attacks by lone offenders against minority communities, schools, houses of worship, and mass transit have demonstrated the dynamic and complex nature of the threat environment facing the United States:
Individuals in online forums that routinely promulgate domestic violent extremist and conspiracy theory-related content have praised the May 2022 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and encouraged copycat attacks. Others have seized on the event to attempt to spread disinformation and incite grievances, including claims it was a government-staged event meant to advance gun control measures.
The suspect in the grocery store attack in Buffalo, New York in May 2022 claimed he was motivated by racist, anti-Black, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, often referred to as the “great replacement” or “white genocide.” These theories claim that minorities, multiculturalists, and a ruling elite are deliberately threatening the existence of the white race. The alleged 2019 attacker at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas cited similar grievances and inspiration for the attack, and both the Buffalo and El Paso attackers indicated they were inspired by the 2019 attacker of two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
A violent attack in May 2022 in Laguna Woods, California targeted congregants of a church that serves the Taiwanese community. The attack killed one individual and wounded five others. According to the lead investigative agency, the suspect also placed Molotov cocktail-like devices around the church and secured the doors with chains and super glue.
Right-Wing Rhetoric Feeds Domestic Threats
We know where the Great Replacement conspiracy theory is being spread – on Fox News, by Tucker Carlson. It’s so bad that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called out Fox and Tucker Carlson for amplifying the Great Replacement theory. Meanwhile, Tucker is pretending that he never said what he said and if he said it he didn’t mean it but he said it again anyway.
The New York Times assessed that Tucker has in more than 400 episodes of his show “amplified the idea that Democratic politicians and others want to force demographic change through immigration”.
The gun industry is incentivized to push the destruction of society and they take advantage of it. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post spoke with former gun company executive Ryan Busse regarding how the gun industry’s radicalization is paying off:
“They’re smart enough to never quite say, ‘Thank God, society is almost ready to come apart, we’re selling everybody guns!’ Busse told me. ‘It just gets so dangerously close.’”
Sargent notes that “something much darker is at work here” than just the fear of an assault weapons ban driving sales. “The belief that ‘everybody needs to be carrying,’ not just for self-defense but also because Biden is supposedly pushing the country to a place of full-scale civic breakdown, appears to be precisely what the industry wants to encourage in people.”
Telling people they are under attack and pointing out the people who are threatening them encourages violence against those people, especially among radicalized and at-risk people.
The Office of Public Affairs pointed to the “continued proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding current events” as fuel that “could reinforce existing personal grievances or ideologies, and in combination with other factors, could inspire individuals to mobilize to violence.”
They cite “some domestic violent extremists” have grievances over their false notion that the government is not willing to try to secure the U.S. Mexican border (hi, Fox News!) “and have called for violence to stem the flow of undocumented migrants to the United States.”
“We assess that there is increased risk of domestic violent extremists using changes in border security-related policies and/or enforcement mechanisms to justify violence against individuals, such as minorities and law enforcement officials involved in the enforcement of border security.”
Other issues that might radicalize people are abortion rights, and they note that people both pro-individual liberty and those against abortion “have, on public forums, encouraged violence, including against government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities, as well as those with opposing ideologies.”
What makes all of this unrest and radicalized division even worse is that it is fodder for our enemies, “Foreign adversaries remain intent on exploiting the dynamic threat environment to sow discord, undermine U.S. democratic institutions, and promote or inspire violence by their supporters.”
This is the sixth NTAS Bulletin issued by the DHS since January 2021. Ah, January 2021. The month Trump was forced to leave the White House after stoking his followers into a violent attack.
We now have so many mass shootings per weekend it’s tough to keep track of them.
The dangerous and inciting rhetoric coming largely from the Right has proven time and time again to be a motivating factor for a “lone wolf” shooter. It is perhaps a failing of our country that we are unable to add those all together and decisively conclude that the sources lying to people in order to frighten and radicalize them need to be shunned at the very least. Normalizing Tucker Carlson is not helping.
It’s reckless and irresponsible for political leaders to push “othering” to the degree that Republicans have been, long before Trump. The result of the Obama whitelash and Trump stoking of racism and violence tossed together with a global pandemic during uncertain times is the current hotbed of absolutely out of control violent extremism.
The party that used to pride itself on personal responsibility and old-fashioned civility now elevate people like Kyle Rittenhouse and George Zimmerman. When the party and their media signal to their base that killing certain “other people” (political opponents) makes you a hero, they can hardly claim to be surprised when it happens again.
1/6 Was Not An Isolated Incident Of Domestic Threat
In mere days, Americans will witness the first televised hearing regarding the Trump-inspired domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol, an attack intended to assist the theft of an entire election in order to install Trump.
The dots should be connected between the attack on January 6th and the ongoing attacks on “others” at their place of worship, at grocery stores, and more. The radicalization of the far-Right has been completed, and is assisting our enemies and endangering American citizens.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.