The bulletin, issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske, comes three weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters staged a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn Biden’s electoral win. DHS said it was concerned that the Jan. 6 insurrection could embolden some violent extremists to carry out further attacks across the U.S.
The alert also said the proliferation of misinformation and conspiracy theories could incite violence by extremists with “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”
“Threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors, increased in 2020 with violent extremists citing misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions,” DHS said in the alert.
In his inaugural address, Biden vowed to confront domestic extremism head-on in his administration, which has made it a top priority for the National Security Council. Biden’s nominee to head DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas, called domestic extremism “one of the greatest challenges” the agency faces during his confirmation hearing earlier this month. It’s unclear when Mayorkas will be confirmed.