US sees heightened extremist threat heading into midterms

AP:

A looming Supreme Court decision on abortion, an increase of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and the midterm elections are potential triggers for extremist violence over the next six months, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.

The U.S. was in a “heightened threat environment” already, and these factors may worsen the situation, DHS said in the latest National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin.

“In the coming months, we expect the threat environment to become more dynamic as several high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets,” DHS said.

It’s the latest attempt by Homeland Security to draw attention to the threat posed by domestic violent extremism, a shift from alerts about international terrorism that were a hallmark of the agency following its creation after the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Indeed, the threats from overseas rate only passing mentions in this bulletin. It notes that al-Qaida supporters celebrated the January standoff at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. And it mentions that the Islamic State group called on supporters to carry out attacks in the United States to avenge the killings of the group’s leader and spokesman.

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