The FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security said there has been an increase in the threat following the search of former President Donald Trump's residence.
They specifically link the increase to the Aug. 8 search at Mar-a-Lago. The FBI and DHS have seen an increase in threats of violence posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including threats to plant a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI headquarters and general calls for 'civil war' and armed insurrection, the agencies said in a memo.
The FBI and DHS would like to make sure that law enforcement, the courts, and government personnel are aware of a number of threats and criminal and violent incidents.
These include threats that are specific in identifying intended targets, tactics or weapons.
Since August 8, 2022, the FBI and DHS have identified several articulated threats and calls for targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement and government officials related to the Palm Beach search, including the federal judge who approved the Palm Beach search warrant.
Three days after the search, Ricky Schieffer Jr. dressed in a tech vest, armed with a rifle and nail gun, attempted to forcibly enter the FBI field office in Cincinnati, in a standoff with FBI and law enforcement officials, Schieffer was killed.
Hours before Schieffer's confrontation, he published a post on former President Donald Trump's Truth Social that he wanted to kill federal agents. The post, which has since been removed by the site's moderators, came shortly after the FBI raided the former president's residence at Mar-a-Lago.
Posts like these represent just some of the violent extremist content that flooded far-right and social media platforms after the FBI search of the Mar-a-Lago resort. Phrases including "civil war" and "guns to fight" are popular on Telegram, Gab, Reddit and TheDonald, a popular forum among Trump supporters.
As a result of recent actions, we estimate that potential future targets of violence may include law enforcement, judicial officials, individuals implicated in conspiracy theories, and perceived ideological opponents who challenge their worldview, the joint bulletin says.
The bulletin also says the threats seen so far since the search point to the possibility that extremists may view the 2022 midterm elections in November as an additional hot spot around which threats against perceived ideological opponents, including federal law enforcement officials, can be mounted.