US intelligence agencies warn of serious threat of domestic extremism

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US intelligence agencies warn of serious threat of domestic extremism

The intelligence report says some extremists will “almost certainly” venture into violence this year

WASHINGTON – US intelligence agencies have warned that the country is facing significant threats from within, expressing fears that a range of homegrown extremists may be planning attacks against compatriots or the government.

A declassified report released on Wednesday described the threat as widespread, from individual criminals to small cells with a wide variety of violent ideologies, but “prompted by recent social and political events.”

“Bias against minorities and government actions that are perceived as exceeding authority will almost certainly continue to radicalize domestic violent extremists,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a report.

The report’s authors warn that a range of factors, including conspiracy theories surrounding the recent presidential elections and the coronavirus pandemic, “will almost certainly push some domestic violent extremists to attempt violence this year.”

The declassified findings, which are part of a broader secret report to the White House and Congress, were released more than two months after thousands of Americans, including dozens of far-right factions, stormed the Capitol in Washington, dissatisfied with the outcome of the presidential election in November.

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“Domestic violent extremism is one of the most serious and persistent threats we face as a country,” Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mallorcas told lawmakers. “We are actively addressing this problem.”