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A Year After The City Of Uvalde, Homeland Security Officials Say The Increased Threat Environment Remains

this Shooting at Uvaldirup Elementary School in TexasA year ago may have changed the conversation about gun violence in America. But after 19 fourth graders and two teachers were killed in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, top DHS officials said they could not point to “any fundamental reason for school safety or the threat landscape affecting educational institutions.” Variety”.

Schools still face threat from extremists

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a terrorism threat advisory on Wednesday, warning that schools remain at risk of extremist violence and that critical U.S. infrastructure, religious institutions, LGBTQIA+ communities, racial and ethnic minorities, and government and law enforcement personnel are also at risk. at risk.

“It’s just a statement of fact that schools continue to be potential targets for individuals motivated by a range of different grievances,” a senior DHS official told CBS News during a briefing Wednesday.

Assault weapons and greater lethality

Top DHS officials draw a line between assault-style guns and the risk of mass assault. “For those of us who deal with a range of cases of targeted violence, we have been frustrated by our inability to prevent these actors from obtaining high-powered weapons,” the DHS official said.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a single thread … running through all of these grievance stories,” the official continued. “In some cases, it’s not even clear whether the school itself is actually connected to a person’s ideological narrative or grievance.”

Online platforms continue to encourage copycat attacks

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism threat advisory warning that online forums contain homegrown violent extremist content and conspiracy theories. He encourages copycat attacks after Uvalde mass shooting.

Now, analysts at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis have again assessed that homegrown violent extremists continue to use online platforms to try to motivate supporters to attack, “including through violent extremist messaging.”Intelligence officials also pointed this out All-out attack on Covenant School, a Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennesseewrote that the investigators “referred to [gunman] I researched other mass killers. “

Sole actor perpetrators are part of the “new normal.”

The latest terrorism alert, issued Wednesday, marks a shift to a “new normal,” a senior DHS official said, noting a “persistent and escalating threat environment” “linked to a range of single perpetrators and small groups” with many cases It is all determined by a set of beliefs. “Different ideologies.

Public arrest warrant issued days after driver held up Nazi flag A U-Haul crashes into a security barrier across from the White House Weeks later, the attacker — who law enforcement determined had “neo-Nazi ideas” — He shot and killed eight people at a mall in Allen, Texas.

The gunman’s online activities can be traced to an apparent fascination with white supremacy, Although he posted pictures showing large swastika tattoos on his arms and torsoIncludes swastika and SS bolt emblem of Hitler’s paramilitary forces.

“Unfortunately, the kind of neo-Nazi ideology that was displayed by the Allen, Texas attacker is something that we see more often,” a senior DHS official said of the domestic and international photos.

The bulletin noted that law enforcement’s initial assessment indicated that the shooter was “focused on mass shootings with views consistent with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist elements and involuntary violent extremist ideologies.”

Audio narration for more neo-Nazi and extremist literature

Another senior DHS official pointed to the increasing audio narratives of neo-Nazi and extremist literature, “over the past few years, the term has been being spread.”

Several factors could mobilize individuals toward violence over the coming months, Homeland Security analysts warned in Wednesday’s bulletin, including: “Perceptions about the 2024 election cycle and social and political issues. legislative or judicial decision.”

However, a senior DHS official acknowledged that “enhancing the ongoing judicial process” following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol has worked to deter most of the population from filing lawsuits.

Analysts say they are scouting the internet for statements presenting the election results in “shocking terms” ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

“It’s one thing to engage in political debate and political disagreement,” said a senior DHS official. “It’s a different story if political activism is reframed as an existential threat to someone or a community. So if we see language like this being used on a regular basis, it just heightens our anxieties about these attacks.”

The latest bulletins from the National Terrorism Advisory System close on 24 November.

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