Law Enforcement Today has learned that in an alert to law enforcement agencies around the country, Homeland Security is warning that violent extremists may try to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by carrying out attacks against the homeland.
“Violent extremists are seeking to exploit public fears associated with the spread of COVID-19 to incite violence, intimidate targets and promote their ideologies, and we believe these efforts will intensify in the coming months,” according to the intelligence bulletin, compiled by the agency’s Counterterrorism Mission Center and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.
The department noted that it currently has “no information indicating any active plotting is underway,” but that both foreign and domestic extremist groups are looking to spread misinformation about the pandemic.
The United States currently has 53,268 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. Thus far, 696 Americans have died, with a significant percentage of that being in New York and Washington state.
The memo from DHS cited a clipping from a weekly newsletter by the Islamic State group, in which it calls for supporters to carry out attacks against overburdened health care systems in Western countries, according to ABC.
In addition, the bulletin outlined instances of activity by white supremacists, who the department says have “advocated for violence against a range of targets, including critical infrastructure and faith-based minority communities—including Asian Americans in response to the COVID outbreak.”
Law Enforcement Today recently reported on threatened attacks against both law enforcement interests, as well as threatened anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish people.
Earlier this week, ABC News reported on an alert from the FBI’s New York field office that showed intelligence gathered on extremist racist groups, including neo-Nazis, encouraged followers to contract COVID-19 to spread the disease to Jewish people and police officers.
FBI Director Chris Wray said in a video message last Thursday that the department is stepping up its monitoring of threats against the U.S.
“With all the worry and uncertainty out there, we want the public to know that there are still things they can count on: We’re here, and we’re going to stay here, to protect them, no matter what,” Wray said.
“Because our criminal and national security adversaries sure aren’t going to take a day off—whether that’s for the coronavirus or, for that matter, anything else.”
One thing you can always count on. Times like this bring the nuts out of the closet, and this one is no exception. Intelligence gathered by the FBI is warning that neo-Nazis and other white supremacists are encouraging members who contract coronavirus to spread the virus to police and Jews.
Earlier this week, ABC News obtained an alert in which the FBI’s New York field office reports that “members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions.”
Because hate doesn’t break for a pandemic….
ABC News: White supremacists encouraging their members to spread coronavirus to cops, Jews, FBI says https://abcnews.go.com/US/white-supremacists-encouraging-members-spread-coronavirus-cops-jews/story?id=69737522 …
White supremacists encouraging their members to spread coronavirus to cops, Jews, FBI says
The alert was sent to local police agencies by federal officials.
“Anti-government folks in America love to target law enforcement as a symbol of America’s authority,” said Don Mihalek, the executive vice president of the Federal Law enforcement Officers Association Foundation and an ABC News contributor.
“It’s just sad that’s their focus at a time of crisis in the nation.”
Meanwhile, there was a report last month in a weekly intelligence brief by the Federal Protective Service that said white supremacists had discussed plans to use the coronavirus as a bioweapon. The brief covered the week of February 17-24.
White supremacists want to weaponize #Coronavirus.
We need to start treating white supremacists like the terrorists they are and not wait for one of these members chuckleheads acting on the things they’ve been enthusiastically discussing for years now.https://www.scribd.com/document/452676693/White-Supremacist-Corona#from_embed …
White Supremacist Corona
DHS Federal Protective Service on white supremacists and coronavirus
“White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists have recently commented on the coronavirus stating that it is an ‘OBLIGATION’ to spread it should any of them contract the virus.”
According to Yahoo News, white supremacists had used the secure messaging app Telegram to discuss plans to spread the virus, while suggesting that law enforcement agents and “nonwhite” people be targeted. They did however say the were open to targeting some “public places in general,” the brief said.
In order to carry out their plans, white supremacists floated ideas like leaving “saliva on door handles at local FBI offices, spitting on elevator buttons, spreading the virus in “nonwhite neighborhoods,” and being in public with their perceived enemies.
The discussion took place primarily in a Telegram channel devoted to neo-Nazi philosophy called “siege culture” which advocates for racial terrorism to spark a civil war, according to Yahoo News. Sounds a bit like Charles Manson and his “helter-skelter” scenario.
US law enforcement agencies have tried to shift more attention in recent months to combat the issue, for example the FBI last year zeroed in on conspiracy theories and identified them as a domestic terrorism threat.
“The FBI assesses anti-government, identity based, and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to commit criminal and sometimes violent activity,” the document said.
“The FBI further assesses in some cases these conspiracy theories very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places, and organizations, thereby increasing the likelihood of violence against these targets.”
At the same time, the Anti-Defamation League is reporting that some extremists have been pushing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories online which blames Jewish people for the spread of the coronavirus.
“From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms,” Michael Masters.
He heads the Secure Communities Network, a nonprofit that works to “serve the American Jewish community concerning matters of communal safety,” ABC News was told.
“While the world faces a deadly pandemic, it’s a stark reminder that certain groups—notably the Jewish community and law enforcement—must also continue the battle against those who wish to hurt or kill them,” Masters said.
“As the economic situation remains fragile and civil society disrupted, the potential for the followers of hate to act becomes more likely…and more deadly.”
“Finally! Science has discovered a cure for the most insidious disease of our time…Jewishness..” After posting that on the site, the same poster responded to a news report that three Israelis had been quarantined due to possible coronavirus, the same poster wrote, “3 down, 5,999,997 to go!”
We are asking our brothers and sisters in law enforcement, as well as our Jewish friends to remain vigilant.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!