Intelligence report says some extremists “almost certainly” will venture into violence this year
WASHINGTON – U.S. intelligence agencies have warned that the country faces a significant threat from within, expressing fears that a number of homegrown extremists could plan attacks against compatriots or the government.
The declassified report, released Wednesday, described the threat as broad, coming from both individual criminals and small cells that hold a wide variety of violent ideologies but who have been “spurred to action by recent social and political events.”
“Bias against minorities and government actions that are perceived as overreaching will almost certainly continue to contribute to the radicalization of domestic violent extremists,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence report said.
The report’s authors warn that a variety of factors, including conspiracy theories related to the recent presidential election and the coronavirus pandemic, “will almost certainly encourage some domestic violent extremists to attempt violence this year.”
The declassified findings, which are part of a larger classified report sent to the White House and Congress, were released more than two months after thousands of Americans, including dozens of members of far-right groups, marched to storm the Capitol in Washington, displeased with the outcome of the presidential election in November.
“Domestic violent extremism is one of the most serious and persistent threats we face as a country,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers. – We are actively addressing this problem.”