FBI and DHS Warn of Increased Threats to Law Enforcement and Government Officials After Mar-a-lago Search

FBI and DHS Warn of Increased Threats to Law Enforcement and Government Officials After Mar-a-lago Search: Following the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, federal authorities have issued a warning about an increase in threats against law enforcement personnel. In the days that followed the FBI’s authorized seizure of 11 sets of classified documents from the former president’s home, including four sets that were classified “top secret,” according to the unsealed search warrant, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified the threats, which are “occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards.”

The document stated that the FBI and DHS wanted to make sure that law enforcement, judicial, and administrative staff were aware of the variety of threats and violent and criminal acts. State, local, tribal, and territory law enforcement officials around the country received the internal intelligence memo late Friday night.

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The FBI and DHS “have noted a rise in violent threats posted on social media against government employees and facilities, including a threat to detonate a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for “civil war” and “armed insurrection,” the bulletin states. Threats that “specifically describe prospective targets, tactics, or weaponry” fall under this category, the advisory stated.

The bulletin continued, “Since August 8, 2022, the FBI and DHS have identified numerous articulated threats and calls for the targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials connected to the Palm Beach search, including the federal judge who approved the Palm Beach search warrant. The FBI and DHS have seen personal information on potential victims of violence being spread online as additional targets, such as house addresses and family member names.

The evaluation noted that three days after the search, “Ricky Shiffer, Jr., wearing a technical vest and armed with an AR-style rifle and a nail gun, attempted to forcibly enter the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office,” and it described the standoff with FBI and law enforcement officers that eventually ended in Shiffer’s death. Shiffer appeared to have posted that he planned to kill federal officials on the social media site Truth Social a few hours before the standoff.

FBI and DHS Warn of Increased Threats to Law Enforcement After Mar-a-Lago Search
FBI and DHS Warn of Increased Threats to Law Enforcement After Mar-a-Lago Search

The article was published not long after the FBI searched the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday; it has now been taken down by the website’s censors. The suspect wrote, “Kill them when they arrive for you.” Be American, not a steer, I say. Following the FBI’s investigation of the Mar-a-Lago resort, a small portion of the violent extremist information has been posted on far-right message boards and social media sites.

Trending terms on Telegram channels, Gab, Reddit, and Donald, a popular forum among Trump supporters, include “civil war” and “lock and load.” The joint advisory reads, “In light of recent activities, we consider that potential targets of DVE violence going forward could include law enforcement, judicial authorities, those linked to conspiracies, and perceived ideological opponents who question their worldview.”

There could be “possible future law enforcement or legal actions against individuals associated with the Palm Beach search,” “statements by public officials which incite violence,” “high profile successful DVE attacks that inspire copycats,” or “the emergence of additional conspiracy theories,” according to the warning.

The bulletin further states that there is a chance that domestic violent extremists will use the November 2022 midterm elections as “an additional flashpoint around which to escalate threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement personnel,” based on the threats that have been observed thus far since the search.

DHS has opted not to respond. The FBI is “always concerned about violence and threats of violence against law enforcement, particularly the men and women of the FBI,” according to a statement from an FBI spokesperson. The statement continued, “We work closely with our law enforcement partners to assess and respond to such threats, which are abhorrent and dangerous. “As always, we would want to advise the public to notify law enforcement right away if they witness anything suspect.”

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