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US issues domestic terror alert after Capitol raid

Department of Homeland Security warns of 'heightened threat environment' across US for 'coming weeks'

Michael Hernandez   | 27.01.2021
US issues domestic terror alert after Capitol raid FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON

The US issued a terror advisory Wednesday because of the threat posed by domestic violent extremists, warning some may have been "emboldened" by the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump's supporters.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security David Pekoske issued what is called a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin following consultations with the intelligence community and law enforcement.

It warns of a "heightened threat environment across the United States that is likely to persist over the coming weeks," the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.

The bulletin points to "long-standing racial and ethnic tension" it said will continue to motivate people to violence, and warns that some domestic violent extremists energized by the Capitol raid may seek "to target elected officials and government facilities."

DHS cautioned, however, that it does not currently have specific information that would suggest a "credible plot" is underway, but said, "violent riots have continued in recent days and we remain concerned that individuals frustrated with the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances and ideological causes fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize a broad range of ideologically-motivated actors to incite or commit violence."

Five people were killed earlier this month when Trump's supporters ransacked the federal legislature as lawmakers were carrying out a constitutionally-mandated process that preceded US President Joe Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration.

Trump had just minutes earlier addressed a mass gathering near the White House, urging the crowd to "stop the steal" as lawmakers prepared to count Electoral College votes.

A Capitol Police officer died from injuries the day after the assault.

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