Federal officials warned in a new bulletin that law enforcement officials and others in the government face growing threats following last week’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago.
A joint intelligence bulletin from the Justice Department and Homeland Security was released Friday and was obtained by ABC News. It was disseminated in light of an increase in threats and acts of violence, including armed encounters against law enforcement, the judiciary, and government personnel, in response to the FBI’s recent execution of a court-authorized search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida. “The officials wrote.
The bulletin links the latest concerns of potential violence with widespread polarization in society, driven in part by statements from the lawmakers themselves.
“Since the discovery, the FBI and DHS have seen an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including threats to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI headquarters and general calls for a ‘civil war. ‘ and ‘armed rebellion’,” the officials wrote in the bulletin.
“Many of these threats include references to the belief that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and other claims of government overreach, which are narratives that have prompted [domestic violent extremists] to commit acts of violence in the past. including law enforcement and federal, state and local governments,” officials said.
Specifically, officers identified several explicit threats and calls for the targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials linked to the Palm Beach search, including the judge who granted the search warrant, the bulletin said.
According to the bulletin, the FBI and DHS have circulated personally identifiable information about potential targets of violence, such as home addresses and identities of family members, online as additional targets.
The warning comes after FBI agents searched Trump’s home early last Monday. A modified copy of the search warrant shows agents took out boxes of sensitive, top secret and other classified files.
Trump denies wrongdoing and says he is being persecuted politically; His spokesperson has also claimed that the documents that were recovered were made public.
The finding sparked an uproar among Trump aides, who characterized it as overly political. Some MPs, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga. issued calls to “defy the FBI”.
Such comments made by Trump and others on unfounded conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was “rigged” and that a so-called “deep state” from within the government is working to undermine the former president.
The law enforcement bulletin released Friday referenced the officers’ rhetoric to be one of several possible contributors to the threats.
“Drivers that could increase the threat environment include potential future law enforcement or legal action against individuals linked to the Palm Beach search, statements from public officials that incite violence, a high-profile successful… Which prompted the imitators, or the rise of additional conspiracy theories,” the officials wrote.
The officials wrote, “The threats we have seen to date underscore that [domestic violent extremists] may view the 2022 midterm election as an additional flashpoint around which perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement personnel, may be involved in Threats against can be escalated.”
Days after the Mar-a-Lago search, officials said, an armed man tried to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati field office before fleeing — and was eventually shot dead by police after a standoff.
Ricky Schiffer, according to law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation, is a “suspected domestic violent extremist”.
Officials previously told ABC News that investigators are looking into social media posts apparently linked to Schiffer, calling for violence in the days following the FBI raid on Trump’s home.