DHS fears 'heightened threats' of political violence as Election Day draws closer: bulletin

DHS fears 'heightened threats' of political violence as Election Day draws closer: bulletin

On Friday, October 28, reports that a violent intruder had broken into the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and attacked her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer grew increasingly disturbing as the day progressed. The suspect, according to law enforcement, demanded to know, “Where is Nancy?” — indicating that the attack could have been politically motivated rather than a robbery attempt.

From the attack on Paul Pelosi to election workers receiving death threats to armed men in tactical gear standing guard at ballot drop box locations in the Phoenix area, many disturbing events have occurred during the 2022 midterms. And according to a bulletin released on October 28, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and others fear the possibility of attacks by violent extremists in the days leading up to Election Day: Tuesday, November 8.

CNN reports, “The bulletin, released by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, U.S. Capitol Police and National Counterterrorism Center, says that perceptions of election fraud will likely result in heightened threats of violence. The bulletin did not list any specific credible threats…. Enduring perceptions of election fraud related to the 2020 general election continue to contribute to the radicalization of some violent extremists, and likely would ‘increase their sensitivity to any new claims perceived as reaffirming their belief that U.S. elections are corrupt,’ according to the assessment.”

READ MORE:Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ campaign office burglarized ahead of midterms: report

The October 28 bulletin reads, “Following the 2022 midterm election, perceptions of election-related fraud and dissatisfaction with electoral outcomes likely will result in heightened threats of violence against a broad range of targets such as ideological opponents and election workers…. We assess that election-related perceptions of fraud and (domestic violent extremist) reactions to divisive topics will likely drive sporadic (domestic violent extremist) plotting of violence and broader efforts to justify violence in the lead-up to and following the 2022 midterm election cycle.”

John Cohen, former intel chief and counterterrorism coordinator for DHS, warns that law enforcement officials are right to be worried about the possibility of political violence during the midterms.

Cohen told CNN, “The midterm elections are occurring at a time when the nation is experiencing what has been described as the most volatile, complex and dynamic threat environment in recent times. Communities across the nation continue to experience mass casualty attacks and other acts of targeted violence by individuals inspired by conspiracy theories.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is among the DHS officials who is sounding the alarm. Mayorkas lamented, “I must say in 2022, it's a very sad state of affairs when election officials are concerned about their physical security.”

READ MORE: Historian describes Trump as one of the leading influencers of political violence

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