Federal law enforcement has repeatedly pointed to online threats tied to election- and grievance-based conspiracy theories
Days before US Capitol Police identified an alleged “bomb” threat at the Library of Congress i Washington DC, the US Department of Homeland Security updated its advisory system to reflect the state of conspiracy theory- and political and culture war-related violence that has proliferated online.
The latest update fra National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin warns that “domestic terrorists” as well as “individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence” or “motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences” are “increasingly exploiting online forums to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and promote violent activity.”
På 19 august, Capitol Police responded to an “active bomb threat investigation” to determine whether a truck parked near the US government building carried an explosive device.
Police identified 49-year-old Floyd Ray Roseberry as a suspect. He followed officers’ instructions to crawl away from the truck parked on the pavement, ending a five-hour standoff.
After allegedly streaming for hours on Facebook that “the revolution is on” and other anti-government messages aimed at Joe Biden and Democrats, a spokesperson for the the social media company announced it removed his account.
Federal law enforcement has repeatedly warned that online threats across social media continue to stem from conspiracy theories surrounding the baseless “stolen election” narrative promoted Donald Trump and his allies, as well as another fraudulent conspiracy theory that he would be reinstated in the White House on 13 august.
“Law enforcement [har] expressed concerns that the broader sharing of false narratives and conspiracy theories will gain traction in mainstream environments, resulting in individuals or small groups embracing violent tactics to achieve their desired objectives,” according to the latest DHS advisory.
The bulletin updates a previous advisory issued in May. That bulletin updated an advisory issued in the wake of the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January and the president’s inauguration on 20 januar. The latest bulletin expires in November.
A DHS spokesperson told Den uavhengige in June that the agency “is enhancing its ability to prevent acts of domestic terrorism inspired by disinformation, conspiracy theories, and false narratives spread through social media and other online platforms”.
A vast online-driven movement motivated by QAnon, growing frustrated with calls to “trust the plan” as its predictions fail to materialise, may begin to engage in “real world violence” against lawmakers and perceived political enemies, according to an unclassified report from the FBI issued in June.
QAnon proponents may begin to believe they have an “obligation” to accelerate beyond “digital soldiers” to carry out their prophesied violence rather than continue to wait for instruction, according to a document prepared by the FBI and DHS and viewed by Den uavhengige.
In an interview with CNN, Homeland Security Intelligence chief John Cohen said online extremist rhetoric echoes calls for violence ahead of the Capitol riot, as persistent threats follow the lie that Mr Biden was not legitimately elected.