Homeland Security warns of potential COVID-19 break

The Department of Homeland Security warned state and local authorities Friday about an increase in calls for violence online tied to election-related conspiracy theories; according to a law enforcement source. World Health Organization warns Coronavirus disease situation dashboard presents official daily counts of COVID-19 cases and deaths worldwide.

 

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In an effort to prevent online threats from manifesting in violent acts; DHS issued a public safety notification to reach law enforcement throughout the United States.

“[D]HS is providing awareness of reports regarding an increasing but modest level of activity online calling for violence in response to unsubstantiated claims of fraud related to the 2020 election and the alleged ‘reinstatement’ of former President Trump;” the public safety notification said; according to the source.

The warning; which does not contain a specific threat; comes amid a resurgence of false claims about the 2020 election; pushed in part by Mike Lindell; MyPillow CEO and a close ally of former President Donald Trump; who has emerged as one of the most vocal proponents of these conspiracy theories.

“As public visibility of the narratives increases; we are concerned about more calls to violence. Reporting indicates that the timing of these activities may occur during August 2021; although we lack information on specific plots or planned actions;” the notification says; according to the source.

 

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A department spokesperson told CNN in a statement that “the Department of Homeland Security regularly shares information regarding the heightened threat environment with federal; state; local; tribal; and territorial officials to ensure the safety and security of all communities across the country.”

The spokesperson confirmed that the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis issued a Public Safety Situational Awareness Notification to federal; state and local officials.