The FBI is experiencing an “unprecedented” number of threats against its agents and personnel after the agency searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and removed a trove of sensitive documents, CNN reported.
FBI and Homeland Security emphasized extremists’ growing threats to law enforcement in a joint bulletin published Sunday by CBS News. “The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in threats to federal law enforcement and, to a lesser extent, other law enforcement and government officials following the FBI’s recent execution of a search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida,” the bulletin said. “These threats are occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards.”
The bulletin went on to add that “the FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion.’” Those threats are “specific in identifying proposed targets, tactics, or weaponry,” it said.
The bulletin also mentioned people have doxxed agents by revealing their personal information online. FBI and DHS have “observed the personal identifying information of possible targets of violence, such as home addresses and identification of family members, disseminated online as additional targets.” Late last week, conservative outlet Breitbart obtained and published a search warrant containing the names of two FBI agents involved in the search, potentially putting them in danger.
FBI offices are also targets. Last week, an individual who was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Ricky Shiffer, Jr., attempted to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati headquarters. On Saturday, armed protesters gathered outside FBI offices in Phoenix, Arizona.
The bulletin mentioned Shiffer’s attack, saying, “On 11 August 2022, Ricky Shiffer, Jr., wearing a technical vest and armed with an AR-style rifle and a nail gun, attempted to forcibly enter the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office. When uniformed officers responded to Shiffer’s attempt to break a glass barrier, he fled the scene. A pursuit ensued, and Shiffer entered a standoff with FBI and law enforcement officers after firing multiple shots at responding officers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP). After a prolonged standoff, OSHP, with FBI SWAT support, attempted to arrest Shiffer, resulting in his death.”
The FBI and DHS bulletin concluded that “potential targets of [domestic extremist violence] moving forward could include law enforcement, judicial officials, individuals implicated in conspiracy theories and perceived ideological opponents who challenge their worldview.” The upcoming 2022 midterm elections, the bulletin added, could become “an additional flashpoint around which to escalate threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement personnel.”