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WASHINGTON, July 1 — The US Department of Homeland Security has warned state and local police of a heightened threat of violence by domestic extremist groups amid relaxed Covid-19 restrictions and the approaching July 4 holiday weekend.
The Justice Department has warned of a rising threat from white supremacists and militias, five months after a January 6 deadly attack on the US Capitol launched by hundreds of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying his election defeat.
“The Department of Homeland Security is focused on the nexus between violence, and extremist ideologies,” a DHS spokesperson said on Wednesday. “We encourage the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to local and state law enforcement, and the FBI.”
The DHS intelligence office this week warned of a threat by domestic extremists to exploit the easing of Covid-19 restrictions to conduct attacks against a range of potential targets, a DHS source said.
A second source noted that the warning was not based on a specific credible threat.
Most US states have lifted restrictions on social gatherings put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and Washington is preparing to host a fireworks and public celebration for the July 4 Independence Day holiday. — Reuters
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