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US Warns 2022 Midterms Could Result in Calls For ‘Extremist’ Violence

US Warns 2022 Midterms Could Result in Calls For ‘Extremist’ Violence

The upcoming midterm elections are emerging as a rallying point for domestic extremists and foreign adversaries seeking to disrupt the U.S. and incite violence, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned Monday. The National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin, which is periodically updated by DHS in a replacement of the color-coded warnings of the past, warns that the primary threat to the U.S. remains lone offenders or small cells of individuals. The alert warns that the months leading up to the midterms could see extremists using online forums and other methods to call for violence at democratic institutions, candidates, party offices, and elections and poll workers.

Unsubstantiated fraud claims, which have plagued the Biden administration (as well as the rest of the country) since the 2020 presidential election may be used to fuel unrest and doubts about the elections to decide control of Congress, DHS officials said as the agency issued a new national terrorism advisory.

CONROE, TX – JANUARY 29: Former President Donald Trump speaks during the ‘Save America’ rally at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on January 29, 2022 in Conroe, Texas. Trump’s visit was his first Texas MAGA rally since 2019. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

U.S. terrorism advisories typically reflect recent events as well as anything on the horizon that might inspire an attack. The concern about the midterms comes as many Americans already are skeptical about the results of the November 2020 election because of the repeated unfounded claims of fraud leveled by Donald Trump and his allies. DHS cited recent examples of domestic terrorism such as the attack on the synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, last month by a British national demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist convicted of trying to kill U.S. Army officers, and last week’s bomb threats targeting several historically Black universities.

A senior DHS official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the terrorism advisory before its release, told reporters that part of their objective may be to sow discord and undermine credibility in democratic institutions by promoting misinformation about upcoming races.

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Concerns about the election are just one element in a terrorism alert that broadly warns of potential violence in what the government calls a “heightened threat environment” that includes foreign and domestic misinformation campaigns, conspiracy theories, and individual perpetrators with grievances rooted in racial and ethnic hatred.

 

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