(LifeSiteNews) – A National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin published on August 13 warned law enforcement and intelligence agencies of potential indicators of domestic terrorists, citing a number of mainstream conservative views on COVID-19 vaccines, lockdowns, and election integrity concerns as warning signs for potential terrorists.
Domestic violence extremists (DVEs) have discussed “conspiracy theories on perceived election fraud and alleged reinstatement [of President Donald Trump], and responses to anticipated restrictions relating to the increasing COVID cases,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said.
“Nation-state adversaries have increased efforts to sow discord,” DHS continued. “For example, Russian, Chinese and Iranian government-linked media outlets have repeatedly amplified conspiracy theories concerning the origins of COVID-19 and effectiveness of vaccines; in some cases, amplifying calls for violence targeting persons of Asian descent.”
The bulletin does not describe what specific conspiracy theories about the origin of COVID-19 would be signs of terrorist activity. The mainstream media has repeatedly called the theory that coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China a conspiracy. However, in the past year, the media and even so-called fact-checkers have said there is a possibility that coronavirus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Threats of violence are “are also exacerbated by impacts of the ongoing global pandemic, including grievances over public health safety measures and perceived government restrictions,” DHS said.
An intelligence official with DHS compared the potential calls for violence to what was seen before the unrest on January 6 in Washington, D.C.
“Concern from a law enforcement perspective is at a certain point in time, all of the conspiracy theories that point to a change occurring through process are going to sort of wear out. And the question is going to be, are people going to try to resort to violence, in or in furtherance of, that false narrative,” John Cohen said during a recent CNN interview last week. The weekend came and went without any domestic violence relating to the 2020 election, however.
This is not the first time that the Biden administration has mixed general right-of-center views with those of domestic terrorists.
A 2021 “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism” report asked people to report potential radical actions and ideas of friends, family, and neighbors to law enforcement.
“Newer sociopolitical developments—such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence—will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year,” the report said.
A leaked Department of Defense (DOD) slideshow labeled a traditional Christian view of gender roles as a red flag for extremism views.
One of these beliefs is the “ideology that holds that modern men have been emasculated by feminists and they need to reestablish themselves as the dominant gender,” according to reporting by Politico.
First Liberty Institute attorney Mike Berry, a former Marine officer, warned that the broad definitions used by the DOD could be used against conservative Protestant and Catholic troops.
He referenced an Army Reserve training slide that grouped Evangelicals and Catholics with al-Qaeda as an example of extremist groups and beliefs.
“The Pentagon cannot possibly believe that because Evangelical Christians and Catholics hold fast to millennia-old views on marriage and human sexuality, they should be labeled as ‘extremists’ and deemed unfit to serve,” Berry wrote at Newsweek. “Yet we lack clear definitions and guidance to know for certain.”
“In the zeal to expel the extreme, our leaders must ensure that these bedrock principles of American virtue are not only protected, but cherished,” Berry warned.