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DHS warns domestic terrorism threat remains heightened

The Department of Homeland Security issued a domestic terrorism advisory bulletin on Wednesday, as Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned of a "heightened threat environment driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal." File photo by Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/UPI
The Department of Homeland Security issued a domestic terrorism advisory bulletin on Wednesday, as Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned of a "heightened threat environment driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal." File photo by Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism advisory bulletin on Wednesday, warning of domestic terror threats to LGBTQ communities, schools, racial and religious minorities, government facilities, infrastructure and the media.

The National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin is the seventh issued by DHS since the attack at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

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"Our homeland continues to face a heightened threat environment -- as we have seen, tragically, in recent acts of targeted violence -- and is driven by violent extremists seeking to further a political or social goal or act on a grievance," said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The growing threat of American extremists motivated by violent ideologies pose a "persistent and lethal threat," a senior DHS official told reporters Wednesday, adding that foreign threats from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State terrorist group have diminished.

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Wednesday's bulletin noted the recent shooting at the LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs, Colo., which killed five people, and pointed to an "enduring threat" to the Jewish community.

The department expects the threat environment to remain heightened through the holidays, saying lone offenders or small groups could "exploit public gatherings and upcoming events to commit acts of violence."

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While DHS acknowledged violence surrounding the November midterm elections "was isolated," the department said it remains "vigilant that heightened political tensions in the country could contribute to individuals mobilizing to violence based on personal grievances."

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The department added that some extremists have expressed grievances based on perceptions that the government is failing to perform its duties and has overstepped its Constitutional powers.

"To keep Americans safe, DHS is committed to working with partners across every level of government, in the private sector and in local communities," Mayorkas said, "by sharing information, equipping communities with training and resources, and providing millions of dollars in grant funding for security enhancement and prevention."

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