In a terrorism advisory bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday raised concerns about potential threats to the LGBTQ, Jewish and migrant communities from violent extremists inside the United States.
Americans motivated by violent ideologies pose a “persistent and lethal threat,” a senior DHS official told reporters in a briefing on the bulletin. Intelligence officials across the federal government have consistently highlighted the growing threat of American extremists in recent years, while explaining that foreign threats such as the Islamic State terrorist group and Al Qaeda are no longer as persistent as they once were.
The bulletin was the latest summary of national terrorism threats, a document that has been updated about every six months since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Some extremists have been inspired by recent attacks, including the shooting at the LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the bulletin said.
The report also highlighted an “enduring threat” to the Jewish community.
Asked if recent antisemitic remarks by Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, contributed to increased threats to Jewish people, a senior DHS official said any high-profile official or celebrity trafficking in conspiracy theories only serves to ignite violence among extremists.
“Certainly the Jewish community seems particularly targeted in recent days by that kind of activity in our discourse,” the official said.
The bulletin also said “potential changes in border enforcement policy, an increase in noncitizens attempting to enter the U.S. or other immigration-related developments” may heighten calls for violence.
In compliance with a court order, the DHS is preparing to lift Covid restrictions known as Title 42 on Dec. 21, which will allow many more migrants into the U.S. to claim asylum.
The previous National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin issued by the DHS in June raised concerns about potential violence surrounding the November midterm elections.
Wednesday’s advisory said such violence was “isolated.” But it said the DHS did “observe general calls for violence targeting elected officials, candidates and drop box locations,” specifically mentioning the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.