Trump “Reinstatement” Fueling Online Calls For Violence
One goal of the Select Commission on the January 6th Insurrection is to figure out why law enforcement authorities missed the online warning signs that thousands of protestors were planning for violence on Capitol Hill as Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over Donald Trump.
Determined not to have the same mistake repeated again, the Department of Homeland now is warning local police departments to raise their alert level in light of recent false claims of voter fraud that have cause a spike in social media chatter calling for violent protests. Predictably, the twice-impeached, one-term former president is the focus of that activity.
“Some conspiracy theories associated with reinstating former President Trump have included calls for violence if desired outcomes are not realized,” according to a DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis bulletin obtained by ABC News. The bulletin was circulated late last week by DHS, which also met with intelligence officers from several large police departments including New York, Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas.
Officials emphasized that no specific events or locales were targeted in the online discussions. “We are currently in a heightened terrorism-related threat environment, and DHS is aware of previous instances of violence associated with the dissemination of disinformation, false narratives, and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election,” a DHS spokesman said.
One troubling development, DHS noted, is that conspiracy theories about the 2020 election have migrated from obscure internet forums to more mainstream ones.
“Past circumstances have illustrated that calls for violence could expand rapidly in the public domain and may be occurring outside of publicly available channels,” says a passage from the awareness bulletin. “As such, lone offenders and small groups of individuals could mobilize to violence with little-to-no warning.”