Government warns of heightened threat to 2022 elections fueled by rise domestic violent extremism 

The US government has warned of a “heightened threat” to the midterm elections, with the contests being potential triggers for domestic extremist violence.

A joint intelligence bulletin obtained by: CBS News appears to be the latest effort by the Department of Homeland Security to draw attention to the threat of domestic violent extremism.

It is a shift from warnings about international terrorism that were a hallmark of the agency after its creation following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Potential targets of Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE) include candidates running for public office, elected officials, election workers, political rallies, representatives of political parties, racial and religious minorities, or perceived ideological opponents. , which was published on Friday. , states.

The advice came the day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was violently assaulted by a man who broke into their home and demanded, “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?’

David DePape, 42, was identified as the man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul with a hammer at their San Francisco home in the early hours of Friday morning

David DePape, 42, was identified as the man who attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul with a hammer at their San Francisco home in the early hours of Friday morning

Review was released the same day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi was attacked at the couple’s San Francisco home

Police said they arrested hemp jewelry maker David DePape, 42, after breaking into his underwear at 2:27 a.m. at Pelosis’s $6 million home in San Francisco and hitting 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a hammer while he shouted ‘where’s Nancy’.

Police officers were at the property in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood when they saw the suspect struggle for Pelosi, grab the hammer and hit him with it, causing serious head, arm and hand injuries.

When they arrested Depape, they found a manifesto with anti-government covid beliefs and a list of other politicians he planned to target.

A joint intelligence bulletin obtained by CBS News appears to be the Department of Homeland Security’s latest effort to draw attention to the threat of domestic violence extremism

The violence experienced in the Pelosi attack appears to match that cited in a memo distributed to law enforcement partners across the country, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the US Capitol Police (USCP).

The memo predicts that “violence will largely depend on drivers such as personalized ideological grievances and the accessibility of potential targets throughout the election cycle.”

The biggest concern in the run-up to Election Day comes from “lone offenders using election-related issues to justify violence,” while a large number of people are still peddling false accounts of electoral fraud from the 2020 presidential election.

‘We assess what’ [domestic violent extremists] motivated by election-related grievances would likely view the election-related infrastructure, personnel, and voters involved in the electoral process as attractive targets — including in publicly accessible locations such as polling stations, polling stations, voter registration sites, campaign events, and political party offices,” the bulletin warns. .

The goal, the bulletin suggests, would be to discredit the election.

The U.S. Capitol Police Department has documented 9,600 direct or indirect threats against members of Congress in 2021 alone.

“DVEs can target parts of the electoral infrastructure in the hope of influencing voting behaviour, undermining the perception of the legitimacy of the voting process, or provoking a particular response from the government.”

Intelligence analysts warn that government officials and personnel, “including by-election candidates and officials involved in election management,” could appear as “attractive targets.”

‘Some [domestic violent extremists]particularly violent extremists who oppose the government and authorities, and racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists who are motivated by differing perceptions of issues such as government force majeure, firearms regulation and immigration policy, will further fuel social and political tensions during the upcoming midterm elections. as an opportunity to use or promote violence to further their ideological goals,” the bulletin reads.

The U.S. Capitol Police Department has documented 9,600 direct or indirect threats against members of Congress in 2021 alone.

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising, the Justice Department has indicted more than 870 people for alleged criminal activity in the US Capitol.

Apart from the election grievances, The memo also indicated how frustrations with the recent Supreme Court overturning the right to abortion, along with other LGBTQ+ issues, “could be compounded in response to a greater focus on these topics ahead of the election.”

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising, the Department of Justice has indicted more than 870 people for alleged criminal activity at the United States Capitol.

In recent months, threats have been made against domestic violence against “elected officials, individuals involved in abortion or LGBTQ+ issues, and facilities, locations and organizations perceived as taking a stance on abortion or LGBTQ+ issues.”

That’s the detail of the memo, concerns have also been raised about how extremists could attack state and local government buildings after the midterms with targets such as “officials involved in vote counting or certifications, judicial figures associated with election-related legal challenges, or private companies engaged in counting.” of votes’.

Gregory William Loel Timm, 27, intentionally drove his vehicle into a voter registration tent in Jacksonville, Florida, in February 2020. He was sentenced to 60 days in prison

“Prolonged certification processes could lead to increased threats or calls for violence against state and local election officials because of potential perceptions of fraud surrounding the results, especially in close or highly contentious elections,” the memo said.

There have been a number of examples of post-election violence in the past.

Gregory William Loel Timm, 27, intentionally drove his vehicle into a voter registration tent in Jacksonville, Florida, in February 2020. He was sentenced to 60 days in prison.

Earlier this month, Travis Ford of Nebraska was sentenced to 18 months in prison for making online threats against Colorado’s official election.

In May, there were two IOUs from California extremists who conspired to set fire to the Democratic Party’s state headquarters in Sacramento after its January 2021 inauguration.

The FBI has stated that most future threats to election workers in 2022 “will likely occur in states or provinces where recounts, audits or public election disputes are taking place,” the bulletin said.