The Department of Homeland Security of the United States published this Wednesday for the first time an antiterrorist alert devoted to the threats coming from “violent extremists” opposed to the government of Democrat Joe Biden.
The judicial authorities announced at the same time the indictment of a Donald Trump supporter after five artisan bombs were found in his company that according to the indictment were going to be used to attack Democrats.
The Department of Homeland Security assured, however, that its alert was not motivated by “information about a specific credible plot” but more generally by a “climate of threats” present throughout the country and that can last several weeks.
“Information suggests that some violent extremists driven by ideology – with objections to the exercise of government authority and the presidential transition – as well as other grievances fueled by falsehoods, may continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence, ” the department said in a statement. release.
The government agency, created after the attacks of September 11, 2001, regularly publishes these types of warnings, but they are generally linked to threats of foreign origin, especially jihadists.
It is the first time that an anti-terrorist alert bulletin has to do with an internal threat, according to its spokesmen.
This change follows the speech of Biden, who during his inauguration on January 20, promised to “defeat white supremacism and domestic terrorism.”
“I am pleased that the department fully recognizes the threat posed by the violent far right,” which was “encouraged over the past four years,” said Democratic lawmaker Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House Homeland Security committee.
Former Republican President Trump has been repeatedly accused of being sympathetic to the radical right, some of whose members were on the front lines during the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol.
The bulletin published this Wednesday, which is valid until April 30, is nevertheless careful to use political labels.
According to the statement, violent extremists created growing threats in the United States over the past year, fueled by restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, Trump’s defeat to Biden in November, police brutality and illegal immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security believes those motivations could continue to exist in the coming months and that the assault on Congress, which left five dead, could encourage extremists to “target elected officials and government facilities.”
The Department stresses that it will protect “critical infrastructure” and “populations that could be the target of attacks because of their religion, race, origin, identity or political opinion.”
But it also invites Americans to remain vigilant. “Pay attention to your environment and personal safety. Keep emergency contacts and other essential information,” he recommends.
On Monday, the Defense Department had already announced that the thousands of soldiers deployed for Biden’s inauguration would remain in Washington until March.
At the same time, the judicial authorities have prioritized the search for the perpetrators of the attack on the Capitol. More than 150 people have been arrested since the attack , including three members of a far-right militia charged with “conspiracy and sedition.”
The Justice Department announced on Wednesday the indictment of Ian Benjamin Rogers, a 43-year-old man from California linked to a far-right militia.
It was in his company that the agents discovered five artisanal bombs, materials to make others and about fifty weapons, according to the prosecutor David Anderson.
According to a report attached to the procedure, messages found on his phone indicate that Rogers was convinced of the veracity of the allegations of electoral fraud that for more than two months Trump made without any evidence to refuse to admit his defeat.
These messages show “his intention to attack Democrats and places associated with Democrats in an attempt to keep Donald Trump in power,” this document reads.
The targets included the office of the Democratic governor of California, Gavin Newson, or the headquarters of Twitter and Facebook, which have excluded the former president from their networks.
Thousands of miles away, a member of an armed militia, Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring last year to kidnap the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, widely criticized by the radical right for her confinement measures.