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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

DHS, FBI warn of growing threats in response to search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence

(CNN) — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have warned of an increase in “violent threats” against federal law enforcement, the courts and government personnel and facilities following a search warrant at the Mar-a-Lago residence of former President Donald Trump. According to a joint intelligence bulletin obtained by CNN.

“These threats occur primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social networking sites, web forums, video-sharing platforms, and image boards. The FBI and DHS want to make sure that law enforcement, courts and government employees are aware of this. Be aware of the diversity of criminal and violent threats and incidents,” says the bulletin, Aug. 12.

The purpose of the Joint Intelligence Bulletin is to share information with the authorities about the threat scenario. The DHS has been warning for more than a year that people will use political ideologies to justify acts of violence and Friday’s bulletin underlined that domestic violent extremists are driven by perceptions of government redundancy and voter fraud.

In June, for example, the DHS Intelligence Branch warned law enforcement, first responders and private sector partners nationwide about potential extremist domestic violence activity in response to a Supreme Court abortion ruling. ,

Friday’s Joint Intelligence Bulletin notes a rise in violent online threats against federal officials and facilities, including “threats to plant a suspected dirty bomb outside FBI headquarters and issuing blanket calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed insurgency’ included.” It also said the FBI and DHS have identified threats against specific individuals, including the federal judge who granted the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.

The bulletin also cites an incident earlier this week when a suspected gunman attempted to enter an FBI Cincinnati field office and was killed in Ohio after a car chase and an hours-long standoff with police.

On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland condemned “baseless attacks on the professionalism of FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors.”

CNN previously reported that the FBI is investigating “unprecedented” threats against bureau employees and property, including agents listed in court records who are involved in the search.

Watch Trump aides criticize FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search 2:54

After the FBI’s discovery of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort, an online forum dedicated to Trump has sparked violent rhetoric. “Lock and load” was one of the top comments, while other posts were more explicit, saying, “I’m just going to say it. [El secretario de Justicia Merrick] Mala needs to be killed. As easy as that.” Another user posted, “Kill all the players.”

After the January 6 attack, alternative social media platforms became more popular with Trump supporters, when companies such as Facebook and Twitter banned Trump and other prominent figures from spreading election conspiracy theories.

Those platforms, such as Trump’s own Truth Social site, are known as bastions of free speech, with loose rules and restraints. This can result in the spread of violent rhetoric. But talking about violence is not confined to the most marginalized forums.

Tweets referring to the “civil war” on Monday had more than one tweet per second at one point, according to Dataminer’s review of CNN data, a service that tracks Twitter activity.

Donnie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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