Federal authorities are warning of an increase in threats against law enforcement officials following the FBI’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
The threats, which “occur primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video-sharing platforms and image boards”, were identified by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the days following the FBI intervention. authorized the seizure of 11 sets of classified documents from the former president’s home, including four sets classified as “top secret”, according to the unsealed search warrant.
“The FBI and DHS want to ensure that law enforcement, courts, and government personnel are aware of the range of criminal and violent threats and incidents,” the memo reads.
The internal intelligence memo was shared with state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement officials across the country on Friday evening.
According to the bulletin, “The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb outside FBI headquarters and launch general calls for ‘civil warfare’ and ‘armed rebellion.’”
This includes threats that are “specific in identifying proposed targets, tactics or weapons,” the bulletin notes.
“Since August 8, 2022, the FBI and DHS have identified multiple articulated threats and calls for the targeted assassination of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials associated with the Palm Beach raid, including Judge federal government that approved the Palm Beach search warrant,” the bulletin continued. “The FBI and DHS have also observed the personal identifying information of possible targets of violence, such as home addresses and identification of family members, disseminated online as additional targets.”
The assessment noted that three days after the search, “Ricky Shiffer, Jr., wearing a technical vest and armed with an AR-type rifle and a nail gun, attempted to break into the FBI’s field office in Cincinnati,” and describes the standoff. with the FBI and law enforcement which ultimately resulted in Shiffer’s death.
Hours before Shiffer’s confrontation, he appeared to post on former President Donald Trump’s social media platform, Truth Social, that he wanted to kill federal agents.
The post, which has since been deleted by the site’s moderators, appeared shortly after the FBI raided former President Mar-a-Lago’s residence last Monday.
“When they come for you, kill them,” the suspect wrote. “Be an American, not a steer.”
The posts represent just a fraction of the violent extremist content flooding far-right forums and social media platforms in the wake of the FBI’s raid of the Mar-a-Lago resort town. Phrases such as “civil war” and “lock and load” have been broadcast on Telegram, Gab, Reddit and TheDonald, a popular forum among Trump supporters.
“As a result of recent activity, we believe that potential targets for DVE violence in the future could include law enforcement, judicial officials, individuals implicated in conspiracy theories, and perceived ideological opponents who question their view of the world,” the joint bulletin continues.
It warns that events could ‘further escalate the threat environment’, including ‘possible future lawsuits or legal action against individuals associated with the Palm Beach raid, statements by public officials that incite violence , successful, high-profile DVE attacks that inspire copycats, or the emergence of additional conspiracy theories.”
The bulletin also states that the threats observed so far from the research point to the possibility that domestic violent extremists may view the 2022 midterm elections in November as “an additional flashpoint around which to escalate threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement. “
ABC News was the first to report on the information sheet. DHS declined to comment.
In a statement, an FBI spokesperson said the agency was “always concerned about violence and threats of violence against law enforcement, including the men and women of the FBI.”
“We are working closely with our law enforcement partners to assess and respond to such threats, which are reprehensible and dangerous,” the statement continued. “As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious, report it to law enforcement immediately.”
Jeff Pegues and Jake Rosen contributed to this report.
First published on Aug 14, 2022 / 12:56 PM
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