by Ailan Evans
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refused to provide evidence to support its claims that COVID-19 “misinformation” and “false or misleading narratives” inspired violent terrorism during 2021.
DHS issued a terrorism advisory bulletin Monday warning that of the dangers of online misinformation, which the agency said has been exploited by “threat actors” and to inspire acts of terrorism.
“The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors,” DHS said in the bulletin. “These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”
The agency specified COVID-19 misinformation and false claims about election fraud in particular as contributing to violence.
“For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021,” the DHS bulletin said.
DHS did not respond to repeated requests from the Daily Caller News Foundation asking the agency to provide examples of violent terrorist attacks during 2021 that were inspired by false claims related to COVID-19. The agency also did not respond when asked for examples of violent terrorist attacks, other than the January 6 Capitol riot, inspired by election fraud claims.
The DHS bulletin also claimed that “threat actors” were attacking immigrants and stoking resentment toward Afghan migrants resettled in the U.S. following President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
“A small number of threat actors are attempting to use the evacuation and resettlement of Afghan nationals following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan last year as a means to exacerbate long-standing grievances and justify attacks against immigrants,” the agency said.
DHS did not respond to requests for comment Thursday and Friday to provide examples of such attacks.
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Ailan Evans is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “COVID Protest” by GoToVan. CC BY 2.0.