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U.S. warns of heightened domestic terrorism threat after presidential inauguration

President of the United States Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff stand at the east steps of the U.S. Capitol after the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021.
David Tulis/Pool via REUTERS

By Doina Chiacu, Reuters

The United States faces a heightened threat of domestic terrorism from people disgruntled with the outcome of the November presidential election, the Department of Homeland Security said on Wednesday.

The advisory follows the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of then President Donald Trump in which five people were killed, and the inauguration of Joe Biden as president last week amid heightened security in locked-down Washington.

“Information suggests that some ideologically motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” the department said in a national terrorism advisory.

There was no information on a specific credible plot but the heightened threat across the United States was likely to persist for weeks, it said.

The DHS advisory said so-called domestic violent extremists were motivated by issues including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and police use of force.

It also cited “long-standing racial and ethnic tension—including opposition to immigration” as drivers of domestic violence attacks.

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