The Department of Homeland Security expects violence could occur “for weeks” from domestic violent extremists following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, according to a bulletin first obtained by ABC News.
“We expect violence to occur for weeks after publication, especially as DVEs may be mobilized to respond to changes in state laws and abortion ballot measures stemming from the decision,” reads the bulletin dated June 24. “We base this assessment on an observed increase in violent incidents across the United States following the unauthorized release in May of a draft majority opinion on the case,” the bulletin said.
In the May newsletter, DHS warned that extremists could infiltrate the abortion debate.
According to the DHS, domestic violent extremists have racial motivations with perceived grievances.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said domestic violent extremists pose one of the biggest threats to the country.
DHS also assesses that federal judges and state government officials could likely be targets of violence in response to the court’s ruling.
“Federal and state government officials — including judges — and facilities are likely most at risk of violence in response to the ruling,” the bulletin said. “In May, a loosely affiliated suspected violent extremist network known as ‘Jane’s Revenge’ – which has been linked to arson attacks on the buildings of ideological opponents – shared a message online encouraging a ‘night of rage” following the Supreme Court’s announcement, stating, “we need the state to feel all our anger” and “we need it to be afraid of us”.
The department also cites the recent arrest of a California man who traveled to the Washington area to kill Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
In a statement, a DHS spokesperson said it respected Americans’ right to protest.
“Freedom of speech and the right of Americans to protest peacefully are fundamental constitutional rights. These rights do not extend to violence and other unlawful activity,” the spokesperson said. “DHS will continue to work with our partners at all levels of government to share timely information and support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe.”
These protests, along with abortion clinics, will “likely” be a target, according to DHS.
“First [A]Events protected by the ruling following the published ruling will also likely be attractive targets for a series of DVEs to commit violence against ideological opponents,” the bulletin said. “On June 22, an unidentified social media user posted content encouraging violence in response to the ‘night of rage’ and told his followers to ‘prepare to defend yourself’ and ‘don’t lock or load. no more. Load then lock,” according to United States Capitol Police.
Additionally, DHS says faith-based institutions will likely continue to be targets as well as family advocacy centers.
“In May and June, DVEs allegedly opposed to abortion rights carried out arson attacks targeting a reproductive health care facility in Wyoming and a vacant building that was previously a reproductive health care facility in Washington,” the department said. “Additionally, in June, a suspected racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist posted online a call for attacks on abortion-related targets in response to ‘Jane’s Revenge’ activity.”