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government warning

Less than two weeks before the 2022 elections, the US government is warning of an “increased threat” to midterm contests, fueled by an increase in domestic violent extremism, or DVE, and ideological grievances and access to potential targets. A joint intelligence bulletin obtained by CBS News.

“Potential targets of DVE violence include candidates running for public office, elected officials, election workers, political rallies, political party representatives, racial and religious minorities or perceived ideological opponents,” the bulletin published Friday said.

The day the Speaker of the House issued the Bulletin Violent attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband By a man who broke into their house and demanded, “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”

According to a memo distributed to law enforcement partners nationwide Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the US Capitol Police (USCP) predict that “violence will largely depend on drivers of individual ideological Access to complaints and potential targets throughout the election cycle.” Intelligence analysts assess that the “most plausible” threat ahead of election day “comes from criminals alone who take advantage of election-related issues to justify violence,” with many individuals still propagating false narratives of fraud. Which is the date before the 2020 general election.

Analysts cautioned that government officials and employees, “including candidates in mid-term elections and those involved in administering elections,” will likely remain “attractive targets”, fueled by debunked claims of election fraud that have spread online. went. The US Capitol Police has reported a “sharp increase” of threats against members of Congress in recent years and has documented 9,600 direct or indirect threats notably in 2021 alone.

“We do some assessments” [domestic violent extremists] Election-related complaints driven by election-related infrastructure, personnel and those involved in the election process will see voters as attractive targets – including publicly accessible locations such as polling places, ballot drop-box locations, voter registration sites, campaign events and political party office,” warns the bulletin.

Their purpose, the Bulletin suggests, would be to attempt to discredit the elections: “In the hopes of influencing DVE voting habits, undermining perceptions of the legitimacy of the voting process, or spurring a particular government response to the election infrastructure.” components can be targeted.

And it is noted that the places where people vote may be targeted for attacks “because they prioritize access to maximize exposure to potential voters, allowing them to use firearms, vehicles, sharp weapons.” Like simple, easy-to-use weapons and incendiary devices that DVE has used in the past.”

“some [domestic violent extremists]Particularly anti-government and anti-incumbency violent extremists and racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists driven by differing perceptions of issues such as government overreach, firearms regulation and immigration policy, potentially leading to the upcoming midterm elections will see social and political tensions as an opportunity during the Use or encourage violence to advance its ideological goals,” the bulletin said.

The intelligence memo warned that complaints about abortion and LGBTQ+ issues “may intensify in response to increased attention to these topics before the election,” noting that in recent months, domestic violent extremists have “elected Have made violent threats targeted at “authorities, individuals associated with abortion or LGBTQ+ issues, and facilities, places, and organizations believed to be taking a stance on abortion or LGBTQ+ issues.”

The intelligence bulletin also warns that extremists may target state and local government buildings after the election, with potential targets “officials involved in counting or certification, judicial figures involved in legal challenges related to elections, or private individuals involved in vote counting.” companies”.

The memo continued,: “Prolonged authentication processes may pose increased threats or calls for targeted violence to state and local election officials, because of potential perceptions of fraud surrounding the results, particularly near or excessive elections. in the election.”

The bulletin states that the post-election violence has led to several lawsuits, including guilty pleas by two California extremists in May of 2022 who set fire to the Democratic Party’s state headquarters in Sacramento after its January 2021 inauguration. related to the conspiracy.

In February 2020, 27-year-old Gregory William Loel Tim intentionally drove his vehicle to a voter registration tent in Jacksonville, Fla., and was later sentenced to 60 days in prison.

Last June, the Department of Justice (DOJ) established the “Threats to Election Activist Task Force” in response to a rise in threats targeting election workers. While the task force has so far made only eight arrests and one sentence, as of June 2022, the Justice Department and the FBI had reviewed more than 1,000 communications that were reported as abusive, harassing or intimidating – 11% met federal criteria for further investigative action. According to the FBI’s assessment, “Although many of the communications reviewed by the FBI and DOJ appear to stem from perceptions of voter fraud, the communications are not specific to any one ideology or group.”

Earlier this month, Nebraska man Travis Ford was sentenced to 18 months in prison for making online threats against Colorado’s top election official, marking the first guilty plea received by a government task force.

According to the bulletin, the FBI has determined that the majority of future threats to election workers in 2022 “are likely to occur in states or counties where recounts, audits or public election disputes occur.”

In the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol uprising, the Justice Department has charged more than 870 individuals for alleged criminal activity at the US Capitol.

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