The Department of Homeland Security is worried about increased extremist attacks on U.S. soil, including those related to the impending fall of Roe v. Wade.“Given a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case about abortion rights, individuals who advocate both for and against abortion have, on public forums, encouraged violence, including against government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities, as well as those with opposing ideologies,” DHS wrote in a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin on June 7. The bulletin replaced one that was set to expire later that day.
Earlier this year, a Planned Parenthood in Knoxville, Tennessee, was set on fire. At the end of May, Wyoming’s only abortion clinic was also set on fire, weeks before it was set to open. In early May, a militant pro-abortion group that calls itself Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility after an anti-abortion office in Wisconsin was the subject of vandalism, including a small fire and graffiti. The people responsible wrote, “If abortions aren’t safe then you aren’t either,” on an exterior wall of the building.Since then there have been several more attacks on anti-abortion offices. Just last week a New York facility that calls itself a “pro-life medical office” had its window smashed and was firebombed. “Jane was here,” was spray-painted on the side.It’s not just abortion DHS is worried about, either. The bulletin outlines how ongoing and upcoming events—specifically the midterm elections and anger about the U.S.-Mexico border—“could inspire individuals to mobilize to violence.” Recent incidents include the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings, a firebombing attack on a Taiwanese church in California that killed one and injured five more, and the New York subway shooting.“As recent acts of violence in communities across the country have so tragically demonstrated, the nation remains in a heightened threat environment, and we expect that environment will become more dynamic in the coming months,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
While domestic actors were the primary focus of the bulletin, DHS also reiterated warnings that “foreign adversaries remain intent on exploiting the dynamic threat environment.” Earlier this week, the FBI arrested a 19-year-old Casa Grande, Arizona, man for threatening to commit a mass shooting. As reported by ABC 15, the man praised both the Buffalo and Uvalde school shooters, threatened similar attacks, and said he was going to kill his girlfriend and a family member. The would-be shooter was reported by a fellow Call of Duty gamer, and the FBI ascertained his identity through a gaming company and was able to view his chat logs where they saw a history of violent threats. The man was arrested by local law enforcement just four days after the initial tip was filed. He has yet to be charged. DHS also warned there may be attacks on “public gatherings, faith-based institutions, schools, racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, government facilities and personnel, U.S. critical infrastructure, the media, and perceived ideological opponents.” This bulletin is the sixth one issued since Jan. 6, 2021. It will expire on Nov. 30.Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.