WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Homeland Security Secretary Pete Gaynor issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) bulletin Wednesday due to a “heightened threat environment across the United States.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in its bulletin that it believes the "heightened threat environment" will persist in the weeks following the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden.
“Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” said DHS.
In the bulletin, DHS says it’s concerned that “domestic violent extremists” who are motivated by a range of issues, like anger over COVID-19 restrictions and the 2020 election results, will remain a threat through early 2021.
Officials say some extremists may be emboldened by the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol building to target elected officials and government facilities.
DHS says it, other federal agencies and their law enforcement partners will continue to take precautions to protect people and infrastructure across the U.S.
The department also is encouraging state, local, tribal and territorial homeland security partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure.
As for the public, DHS says they can help by reporting suspicious activity and threats of violence, including online activity, to local law enforcement, FBI field office and their local Fusion Center.
DHS is also advising people to avoid large crowds, including protests, due to ongoing pandemic conditions. If taking part in protests, they urge demonstrators to do so peacefully, safely and to wear masks.
The DHS bulletin takes effect immediately and is set to expire on April 30.