WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – The Department of Homeland Security has warned state and local authorities about an increase in calls for violence online tied to election-related claims, according to a law enforcement source.
In an effort to prevent online threats from manifesting in violent acts, DHS issued a public safety notification to reach law enforcement throughout the United States.
“[D]HS is providing awareness of reports regarding an increasing but modest level of activity online calling for violence in response to unsubstantiated claims of fraud related to the 2020 election and the alleged ‘reinstatement’ of former President Trump,” the public safety notification said, according to the source.
The notification was first reported by ABC News.
The warning comes amid a resurgence of claims about the 2020 election, pushed in part by Mike Lindell, MyPillow CEO and a close ally of former President Donald Trump, who has emerged as one of the most vocal proponents of these claims.
“As public visibility of the narratives increases, we are concerned about more calls to violence. Reporting indicates that the timing of these activities may occur during August 2021, although we lack information on specific plots or planned actions,” the notification says, according to the source.
There is a heightened terrorism-related threat environment in the U.S., according to a spokesperson, and DHS is aware of previous instances of violence associated with the dissemination of disinformation and fraud claims about the 2020 election.
For weeks, the federal government has been aware of online narratives focused on reinstatement, particularly on platforms associated with promoting conspiracy theories, like QAnon, and forums where extremists tend to engage, the source said.