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This morning the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security issued a warning via the National Terrorism Advisory System, warning Americans of the potential for violence among home-grown extremist groups. The warning alerts the public about a growing risk of attacks by “ideologically-motivated violent extremists” agitated about President Biden’s inauguration and “perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”

The warning runs across all 50 states, from federal levels to state and local activity. It would be a mistake to assume that acts of violence could not happen in Colorado, which has a statistically significant number of extremist groups and members, including within Chaffee County.

Colorado Representative Jason Crow, a combat veteran, calms a fellow Congressional Representative as the right wing extremists attacked the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.Legislators were led to safety, but the extremists breached both the House and the Senate Chambers. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

The warning comes on the heels of the attack, according to Capitol Police, “by tens of thousands of Trump supporters and extremists” on the United States Capitol, in which five died, and some 60 Capitol Police were injured. But it is by far not the only ideological, racial, or ethnic grievance attack of the past year.

The 2019 ethnic-focused, anti-immigration shooting in El Paso, Texas killed 23 people. The Department Of Homeland Security (DHS) assessment is clear that the threat comes from “Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) inspired by foreign terrorist groups, who committed three attacks targeting government officials in 2020.”

The rare warning comes after a year in which what DHS refers to as Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views, who were engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity. These DVEs are motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion, carried out attacks against government facilities.

The warning states the concern this way: “DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities.”

Also included in the warning; threats of violence against critical infrastructure, including the electric, telecommunications and healthcare sectors increased in 2020. Violent extremists continuing to cite misinformation and conspiracy theories about COVID-19 for their actions and threats to what they see as government overreach, presenting an ongoing threat.

The threat to infrastructure crosses state, local, tribal, and territorial homeland security. DHS says that it is working with partners to continue prioritizing physical security measures, particularly around government facilities, to protect people and critical infrastructure.

The full DHS warning is available here:

Regrouping and Communications

After Facebook shut down right-wing extremist groups this past summer, those domestic extremists quickly migrated toward and formed localized “patriot” and “unity” groups, as well as moved toward more underground communications vehicles such as MeWe, Parler (which has subsequently been shut down) and Telegram.

On local and Colorado extremist sites, there have been repeated references to “standing down”, “waiting for orders”, and of “letting things cool off for a while,” but at the same time the violent rhetoric and violent memes have continued to build. Currently, there is activity as the extremist groups are attempting to radicalize disillusioned QAnon followers (for whom Judgement Day didn’t come on Jan. 20) and pull them into their influence.

The National Terrorism Advisory System provides information on homeland security issues and threats. It is distributed by the Department of Homeland Security. More information is available at: To receive mobile updates: