Several supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump are calling for violence online, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said through a bulletin Friday. The development comes as the former president’s supporters continue to make baseless claims about fraud during the 2020 presidential elections which resulted in Joe Biden’s win.
“Some conspiracy theories associated with reinstating former President Trump have included calls for violence if desired outcomes are not realized,” The department said in a statement. Although they are treating the threats at a modest level, they did not deny that it is an increasing activity online.
Also, the conspiracy theories and the call for violence are no longer limited among conspiracy and extremist online communities. A senior official from the department noted that the activity became more public for the last few days. This means that the discussions have migrated away from the exclusive communities and are now topics on “web forums, or more public web forums, and even within the sort of media ecosystem.”
The officials said they do not have evidence yet about an imminent plot, but there is a growing concern about the increasing calls for violence. They believe that the violence will be carried out this August 2021. Because of this, the department “does not have the luxury of waiting till we uncover information with the level of specificity, regarding a potential location and the time of an attack.” All they know is that they need to work on their information because past circumstances regarding calls for violence showed that it could expand rapidly.
The senior official of the department added, “We don’t want to overreact, but we want to make sure that we are at the earliest stage possible providing awareness to law enforcement and other personnel who are responsible for the security and are critical to mitigating risk.”
A new bulletin might be released after additional meetings among the DHS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the state and local law enforcement.