The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin today warning that there is a “heightened threat environment” for violent attacks in the U.S. as we head into the 2024 election cycle.
Department officials specifically warned that “perceptions of the 2024 general election cycle” and “legislative or judicial decisions pertaining to sociopolitical issues” could be mobilizing issues for those wishing to carry out acts of violence. It also specifically warns of the potential for attacks on “individuals or events associated with the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Here’s the full bulletin:
The United States remains in a heightened threat environment. Lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and personal grievances continue to pose a persistent and lethal threat to the Homeland. Both domestic violent extremists (DVEs) and those associated with foreign terrorist organizations continue to attempt to motivate supporters to conduct attacks in the Homeland, including through violent extremist messaging and online calls for violence. In the coming months, factors that could mobilize individuals to commit violence include their perceptions of the 2024 general election cycle and legislative or judicial decisions pertaining to sociopolitical issues. Likely targets of potential violence include US critical infrastructure, faith-based institutions, individuals or events associated with the LGBTQIA+ community, schools, racial and ethnic minorities, and government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement.
DHS said duration of the heightened threat environment would be until Nov. 24.
With Pride just around the corner and the anti-trans and anti-LGBT legislation sweeping red states around the nation, it isn’t difficult to read between the lines of what exactly DHS officials have growing concerns about. As we reported today, Target just caved to the recent uptick in right-wing attacks on the LGBT community and got rid of some of the items in its Pride collection, even though the retail giant has been selling products that celebrate Pride for more than a decade. Target officials say the decision was influenced by a spike in threats made against staff over this year’s Pride collection, which included items for trans women. Right-wingers going after the corporation have cited the same sort of deranged, conspiracy-laced stuff that Republicans have used to justify anti-LGBT legislation in recent months, claiming Target is exposing children to “groomers” and Satanism.
The focus on “perceptions of the 2024 election” are concerning, too. Senior DHS officials told reporters that those perceptions “may arise if misinformation spreads in 2024, as it did in 2020, that the U.S. election system is rigged or flawed,” in NBC News’ words. With Donald Trump running for president again, against a handful of primary challengers, a reemergence of Trumpian election denialism is not at all outside the realm of possibility.
This is the eighth such bulletin DHS has issued since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
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