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U.S. warns domestic extremists could exploit easing COVID-19 restrictions

WorldMay 14, 2021 02:55PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang/File Photo/

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned on Friday that domestic extremists could take advantage of easing COVID-19 restrictions to launch attacks on a broader range of targets.

In a new national terrorism advisory bulletin, DHS said the United States in 2021 is "facing threats that have evolved significantly and become increasingly complex and volatile," including threats posed by domestic terrorists, by individuals and by "groups engaged in grievance-based violence".

DHS said social media and online forums "are increasingly exploited by these actors to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and activity."

The DHS bulletin said that in 2020 and this year, government facilities have regularly been targeted by domestic extremists, and that "opportunistic violent criminals" are likely to try to use public protests "linked to racial justice grievances and police use of force concerns" as a motive for "targeting protestors perceived to be ideological opponents."

The bulletin said racially motivated extremists have used social media and online platforms to advocate "a race war" and have suggested that civil disorder "provides opportunities to engage in violence in furtherance of ideological objectives."

Driven by "perceived grievances, false narratives, and conspiracy theories", ideologically motivated extremists share information online with the intent to incite violence, DHS said, using websites which cater to extremists to call for "violence against elected officials, political representatives, government facilities, law enforcement, religious or commercial facilities, and perceived ideologically-opposed individuals."

DHS also warned that foreign militant groups, such as Islamic State and al Qaeda, are circulating messages "intended to inspire" U.S.-based extremists and that such groups and their followers "remain a threat to the Homeland."

The bulletin said foreign nations, including Russia, China and Iran, had increased efforts to sow discord among Americans by promoting conspiracy theories about the origins of COVID-19, questioning the effectiveness of vaccines, and even amplifying messages calling for violence against Asian Americans.

U.S. warns domestic extremists could exploit easing COVID-19 restrictions
 

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Comments (6)
Anothony Hughes
Anothony Hughes May 15, 2021 1:09AM ET
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To anybody who is still wearing a mask after getting vaccinated, please stop spreading misinformation and disinformation and being a science-denying pro-masker. The CDC, which is an authoritative source, has said that you do not need masks. Anybody who disagrees and says they will continue to wear a mask, or encourages others to do so, even after getting vaccinated is going against the science. They are probably Russian bots. Shame that we have such science deniers in society promoting mask use after getting a vaccine. They should be banned, de-platformed, and removed from the internet.
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood May 14, 2021 4:56PM ET
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The only violent "domestic extremists" are antifa and blm racists.. who vote for and live in dem cities and states.. it's their problem and they need to deal with it.
Mase Gumbo
Mase Gumbo May 14, 2021 4:56PM ET
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more on
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel May 14, 2021 4:08PM ET
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Antifa is a myth according to Fat Nadler, just like Russian Collusion
Catholic Man
CatholicMan May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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Sounds like blm and the underwear brigade (antifa), just like ladt year.
Steven Edwards
Steven Edwards May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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Clearly the only logical thing to do is keep people locked up in their homes and never ease COVID restrictions. That worked so well last year in preventing violence form BLM/ANTIFA.
Mase Gumbo
Mase Gumbo May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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what the ******are you reading it says its white nationalists that are the threat...are you brain disabled?
Water Bender
Water Bender May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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Commi Buydinn propaganda.
Water Bender
Water Bender May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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The government wants to control you and make you fearful. They are the extremists forcing masks and vaccines. Remember freedom is normal and your right.
Ad Cline
Ad Cline May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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water bender is a far right extremist who is intent on covering up the seditious actions of Trump's inserectionists, their assault on the Capitol and American Democracy. Jan 6.
Steven Edwards
Steven Edwards May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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" including threats posed by domestic terrorists, by individuals and by "groups engaged in grievance-based violence"..... are they talking about BLM/ANTIFA?
Steven Edwards
Steven Edwards May 14, 2021 2:42PM ET
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"It's for your safety" "We're from the government, and we"re here to help"
 
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