After years of targeting American patriots who oppose COVID measures or believe the election was stolen, parents at school board meetings and Christians, the Department of Justice is back to prioritizing the pre-9/11 “surging threat” of radical Islamic extremism. .
The United States is facing a heightened domestic terrorist threat that has become imminent since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, warns Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
The FBI has had to examine more than 1,800 reports “of threats or other type of tips or leads” related to the war that began on Oct. 7 when Hamas’ terror attack in Israel and has opened more than 100 investigations related to the conflict, Monaco told ABC News in an interview that will air Sunday on This Week.
Lone wolves and small groups are the primary concern, Monaco contends.
“I think we’re in a unique moment where what we’re most worried about — those of us in the national security and law enforcement community — are individuals or small groups who are often radicalized online and who are motivated by and influenced by a range of ideologies, from foreign terrorism and foreign terrorist organizations to domestic grievances,” the deputy attorney general said. “Oftentimes what we’re seeing in the most lethal form is from racially or ethnically-motivated ideologies.”
Monaco noted the Justice Department is also tackling a surge in threats leveled by jihadists against political and government officials,
In the past week alone, the FBI began investigating individuals accused of threatening U.S. Supreme Court justices, FBI agents and three presidential candidates, she said.
The FBI has resolved many of the tips surrounding Islamic extremism “without incident,” but the high volume of potential threats is causing “a lot of strain” on US law enforcement agencies.
“These are threats, they’re hoaxes, then can involve claims of terrorist financing,” Monaco said, detailing the effort employed by federal agents and prosecutors and local law enforcement officials to tackle the emerging terror threat. “So, that is the volume — the significant uptick in the volume and frequency of the types of reports we’re getting.”
Monaco attributes the rising terror threat to people being inspired by “searing images” of Hammas’ terror attack on Israel,
Accounts of “parents huddled with their children in safe rooms, loved ones being killed in front of each other’s children — literally ripped from their parents and being kidnapped” and the more than 1,200 people killed have driven a “very significant uptick in threats” and “actual violence” inside the U.S, she said. “We’ve seen individuals who are taking, I think, twisted inspiration from those images.”
On Dec. 12, the FBI announced it is “closely monitoring threats to public safety during the holiday season which may be amplified” by war.
“We take all potential threats seriously and will work closely with our law enforcement partners to determine their credibility, share information, and take appropriate investigative action,” the bureau says in a PSA. “These targets are likely to remain “attractive to lone actors inspired by a range of ideologies due to their accessibility and symbolic nature.
“We have also observed an increase in hoax bomb and active shooter threats targeting synagogues across the United States, likely intended to disrupt services and intimidate congregants. Calls for violence may increase in the days leading up to the holidays and before other notable events this winter,” the FBI continued. “We therefore urge everyone to remain vigilant and to report any threats of violence or suspicious activity to law enforcement.”