The Department of Homeland Security has issued a terrorism advisory bulletin as warning that LGBTQ+, Jewish, and immigrant communities face threats from violent extremists within the United States.
Released Wednesday, the bulletin highlights the growing amount of attacks against marginalized communities by conservative individuals or groups. It reports that threat actors have recently "mobilized to violence," motivated by "reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies."
"The United States remains in a heightened threat environment. Lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland," the report explains. "Domestic actors and foreign terrorist organizations continue to maintain a visible presence online in attempts to motivate supporters to conduct attacks."
Most recently, the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs has been classified by the DHS as an act of violence targeting LGBTQ+ individuals motivated by hatred. They also report that the shooter was explicitly motivated by conservative rhetoric in forums online.
"Following the late November shooting at an LGBTQI+ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado—which remains under investigation—we have observed actors on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged attacker," the bulletin continues.
The report also warned Jewish groups of the "enduring threat to faith-based communities," which have seen an increased amount of threats or attacks. A senior DHS official told NBC News that Anti-Semitic rhetoric from prominent figures such as Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, can radicalize extremists and inspire violence.
“Certainly the Jewish community seems particularly targeted in recent days by that kind of activity in our discourse," he said.
The bulletin also noted that “potential changes in border enforcement policy, an increase in non-citizens attempting to enter the U.S. or other immigration-related developments” may lead to extremists targeting and taking vigilante action against immigrants.
The DHS advised that communities be aware of and take precaution against domestic threats, as significant dates this season could bring heightened political tensions.
The report warned: "In the coming months, threat actors could exploit several upcoming events to justify or commit acts of violence, including certifications related to the midterm elections, the holiday season and associated large gatherings, the marking of two years since the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and potential sociopolitical developments connected to ideological beliefs or personal hostility."
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