Law enforcement agencies across the country are actively monitoring online threats and rhetoric that emerged following the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday, officials said. sources at ABC News.
The agencies are also preparing for possible acts of violence they fear could occur at or near pro-Trump protests some supporters are calling, law enforcement sources said.
Authorities raided Trump’s Florida estate on Monday morning in what sources told ABC News was part of an investigation into documents Trump incorrectly brought to Mar-a-Lago when he left the House. Blanche, some of which, according to the National Archives, were marked classified.
“In recent months, law enforcement officials across the country have become increasingly concerned about calls for violence against law enforcement and other government officials by violent extremists.” said John Cohen, a former Department of Homeland Security official who is now an ABC News. donor. “The search warrant at Mar-a-Lago has only served to increase these calls, adding to law enforcement concerns.”
In the aftermath of the raid, Trump supporters called for protests at FBI offices in Riverside, California, and Washington, D.C., according to online posts collected by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that monitors extremism and hate speech.
ISD reported that a Trump supporter was “calling on other veterans and Americans of all walks of life to join him” in Washington “to protest the out-of-control FBI and its actions against President Trump,” while a message of another supporter implored his supporters. to “protest the tyranny of the FBI”.
Cohen says authorities became even more concerned as public figures echoed those kinds of remarks.
“We are now faced with a situation where officials and members of the media are mimicking the language used by violent extremists, and that has served to add more volatility to the situation,” he said.
Evan Worse, Cohen said, “there has been discussion of a series of conspiracy theories regarding what the FBI was doing at Mar-a-Lago. And when public figures – particularly those who have previously served in the forces of order – have been spreading wild conspiracy theories that they know to be false, it’s not only irresponsible but dangerous.”
On the other hand, Cohen said, authorities have gotten better at monitoring threats and acting on them.
“In the wake of the events on Capitol Hill on January 6, law enforcement has improved its ability to analyze the online activities of violent extremists, taking threats made online more seriously and incorporating that understanding into their planning. security,” he said.