On Friday (October 28), the U.S. government warned domestic violent extremism (DVE) could pose a “heightened threat” to the midterm elections with the rise of ideological grievances and access to potential targets.
The statement — a joint intelligence bulletin — was first reported by CBS News.
The bulletin listed “potential targets” of DVE during the midterms, including “candidates running for public office, elected officials, election workers, political rallies, political party representatives, racial and religious minorities, or perceived ideological opponents.”
The bulletin came hours after the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA.) husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked with a hammer at their San Francisco home. The assailant was looking for the House Speaker when he attacked her husband, fracturing his skull and seriously injuring his right hand and arm.
The bulletin — co-authored by the National Counterterrorism Center, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Capitol Police, and FBI — predicts the “violence will largely be dependent on drivers such as personalized ideological grievances and the accessibility of potential targets throughout the election cycle.”
However, the bulletin explains the “most plausible threat” is likely to stem from “lone offenders who leverage election-related issues to justify violence.”
The bulletin also comes days after a canvasser rallying votes for Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was attacked. The canvasser was wearing a Rubio t-shirt and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ hat when he was brutally beaten.
The bulletin also reveals that polling locations and ballot drop boxes would likely be targeted by DVEs “because they prioritize accessibility to maximize exposure to potential voters, making them vulnerable to simple, easy-to-use weapons, like firearms, vehicles, edged weapons, and incendiary devices.”