November 11, 2021

DHS issued a bulletin Wednesday warning that the holiday season ushers in a “diverse and challenging threat environment” with threats “posed by individuals and small groups engaged in violence, including domestic violent extremists (DVEs) and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences.”

You can substitute the term “right-wing extremists” for “domestic violent extremists.” Probably not all DVEs are right-wing but it’s clear from the DHS bulletin that the ones it’s most worried about are:

Through the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists and anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists will continue to pose a threat to the United States. Pandemic-related stressors have contributed to increased societal strains and tensions, driving several plots by DVEs, and they may contribute to more violence this and next year. If a new COVID-19 variant emerges and new public health restrictions are imposed as a result, anti-government violent extremists could potentially use the new restrictions as a rationale to target government or public health officials or facilities. In addition, some DVEs have attempted to use the relocation of Afghan nationals to the United States to exacerbate historical DVE grievances over immigration and the American Muslim community.

DHS doesn’t come right out and name QAnon and Big Lie adherents as threats, but it's pretty obvious that’s who they have in mind here:

Law enforcement officials have expressed concerns that the broad sharing of false narratives and conspiracy theories that endorse the use of violence will continue to gain traction, resulting in individuals or small groups embracing violent tactics to achieve their desired objectives. DHS is concerned that increased acts of violence, as well as targeted attacks against law enforcement, may strain local resources and challenge the ability of law enforcement to maintain the safety and security of local communities.

Foreign terrorists continue to be a threat, too. Although the motivations and goals are different, DHS suggests that both foreign and domestic terrorists are on parallel tracks, using encrypted communications that may be difficult for law enforcement to monitor. Both groups “have called for violence against elected officials, political representatives, government facilities, law enforcement, religious communities or commercial facilities, and perceived ideological opponents,” DHS says.

And now, that same rhetoric has spilled over to at least one member of Congress, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).

NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian notes that DHS’ head of counterterrorism and intelligence, John Cohen, told Congress last week that "the period of threat that we are in today is one of the most complex, volatile and dynamic that I have experienced in my career."

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