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    A candlelight vigil in support of wounded first-grade teacher Abby Zwerner, Newport News, Va.John C. Clark/AP Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.Before a 6-year-old intentionally shot his teacher in Newport News, Virginia, last Friday, school officials learned that the boy may have had a gun in his possession but failed to find it, the school system’s superintendent said late this week. According to reports from a local TV station and the Associated Press, superintendent George Parker said during an online meeting with parents Thursday night: “At least one administrator was notified of a possible weapon in the timeline that we’re reviewing and was aware that that student had, there was a potential that there was a weapon on campus.” An attempt to confiscate the gun, Parker added, was unsuccessful. “The book bag for the student was searched after it was reported that he potentially had a weapon,” he said. Key details about the shocking act of violence remain conspicuously unclear. Shortly before 2 pm, the boy brandished a Taurus 9 mm...
    A vigil for shooting victims in Oxford, Michigan, on Nov. 30, 2021Matthew Hatcher/Getty Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.In the year since a mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan left four students dead and many others injured and traumatized, questions have loomed about whether the carnage could have been prevented. The most intense media focus has been on the role of the shooter’s parents. They bought a semiautomatic pistol for their deeply troubled son just days before the attack, allegedly ignored warning signs and rebuffed concerned school officials, briefly evaded law enforcement in the immediate aftermath, and now face unprecedented manslaughter charges in a trial scheduled to begin early next year. But big questions also remain unanswered about how the school system handled 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who pleaded guilty in October to 24 criminal counts, including murder and terrorism. In a dramatic development on Monday, two recently departed members of the district’s board—former president Tom Donnelly and former treasurer Korey Bailey—said that they resigned in September over...
    by T.A. DeFeo   Georgia is working to create Behavioral Threat Assessment Teams throughout the state as a part of a broader school safety effort. Eight regional Homeland Security Coordinators, all sworn law enforcement officers, will lead the teams and respond to threats or concerning behavior that may be considered a pathway to violence. The BTATs will provide help and guidance to local schools and communities to mitigate potential threats. Gov. Brian Kemp divulged the effort as part of a school safety update he released in the wake of a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. “Focusing on school safety and improving Georgia’s mental health system are two issues that we tackled immediately upon taking office in 2019,” Kemp said in a statement. “We want to reassure Georgia families today that we have worked closely with the General Assembly and state agencies to ensure our students and educators have secure learning environments,” Kemp said. “We will continue to do all we can to protect Georgians – and especially our state’s most treasured asset, our children.” In 2019, Kemp set aside...
    Marisa Randazzo, Ph.D. is the former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service and Executive Director for the Ontic Center of Excellence, which specializes in threat assessment & threat management After school shootings, I'm often asked 'what is the profile of school shooter?' It's human nature to want to understand why bad things happen – in large part so we can figure out how to avoid them in the future. With over 20 years of experience studying school shootings, interviewing shooters in prison, and managing thousands of active threat cases, here's what I can tell you about school shooters in the U.S. Author Marisa Randazzo, Ph.D. is the former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service There was no accurate or useful profile of a school shooter – meaning no common demographic or external characteristics that described all or most of the school shooters. This information comes from research conducted primarily by the U.S. Secret Service and FBI. However, the behavior of school shooters is very similar and it suggests that many of these killers can be stopped before...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health confirms what many have believed for years, that people working or living near Water Gremlin do face health risks. A new assessment on the manufacturing plant found the toxic chemicals they put into the air could cause cancer, among other things. READ MORE: After Pollution Fiasco, MPCA & Ramsey Co. Enter Joint Powers AgreementThis public health assessment included a few key findings. Among those, exposure to this chemical trichloroethylene (TCE) at unsafe levels may have increased the risk of certain cancers and birth defects in some people living near Water Gremlin. WCCO has reported on the impact to people in our reporting for years, and this spells it out in the most clear way we’ve seen so far. In early 2019, the state levied a $7 million fine against Water Gremlin for the release of TCE, and it ordered the plant to make changes. WCCO’s report on elevated lead levels in kids of Water Gremlin employees temporarily shut the plant down. Workers were unknowingly taking the lead home, poisoning some kids. ...
    Sometime over the past decade, America seems to have resigned itself to thinking about mass shootings as if they were a kind of unavoidable natural disaster. Like tornadoes or earthquakes, these localized catastrophes seem to come out of nowhere and could happen to any of us. Yet even though they are estimated to be the cause of less than 1% of all gun fatalities, mass shootings carry a toll that surpasses their numbers, undermining our collective sense of well-being and public safety. And just as for natural disasters, the most our country seems to be able to do about mass shootings now is hold drills to prepare for their inevitability. But in a fascinating new book, “Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America,” journalist Mark Follman makes the case that despite our intractable political and cultural differences, mass shootings don’t have to be inevitable. Follman argues that even in the absence of stronger gun regulations, we have been making progress in understanding and perhaps even preventing the most notable forms of mass shootings, rampages in which...
    Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine. It’s become all too common in media and politics to assume that we can’t stop mass shootings. But in his new book, Mother Jones National Affairs Editor Mark Follman argues that many of these massacres are preventable, and traces the promising path and emerging strategies to thwart them. Follman, who has maintained a first-of-its-kind open-source database of mass shootings since 2012, documents the latest in the field of behavioral threat assessment. Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America, published on Tuesday, walks us through the progress of forensic psychologists, FBI agents, and other experts and educators. My reading list is impossibly long, but I’m all in on this one. I suggest you join me, and if you want a teaser, catch his conversation at the Commonwealth Club of California yesterday with MoJo’s Monika Bauerlein. I’d already known the contours from having read his investigation in our upcoming print magazine, but each time Follman speaks or writes...
    COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s domestic security on Tuesday designated pandemic-linked “antigovernmental extremism” as a menace for the first time ever. The agency, known by its Danish acronym PET, said in its annual assessment that although this type of extremism is not “a significant driving force for the terrorist threat” in the country, it does make the situation “more complex.” PET said the menace which expresses the need to use violence against elected representatives, had appeared in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Michael Hamann, head of PET’s Center for Terror Analysis that analyzes the threat of terrorism against Denmark and Danish interests abroad, said the vast majority of instances where authorities were heavily criticized for their handling of the pandemic unfolded peacefully. Hamann cited examples where such criticism has been expressed by “threats and intimidation” in Denmark, while there have been examples abroad “of planning or carrying out actual violent acts.” But he said in a statement that the threat from antigovernment extremism is “limited in level.” The general terrorism threat Denmark is “serious”, defined as having the...
    (CNN)On a Friday evening in November 2018, 40-year-old Scott Beierle signed up for a hot yoga class in Tallahassee, Florida, and told the receptionist he would wait outside. When the class began, Beierle grabbed his ear protection and a loaded gun, walked into the classroom and opened fire. He killed two women, injured four others and then turned the gun on himself. Police, through the course of their investigation of the incident, discovered a long history of hatred toward women, sexual assault allegations, and homophobic and racist comments. Now, threat assessment experts with the US Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center are using the Tallahassee murder-suicide to bring greater understanding to the threat posed by so-called involuntarily celibate men, often referred to as "incels.""The term 'incel' is often used to describe men who feel unable to obtain romantic or sexual relationships with women, to which they feel entitled," according to researchers in a new case study report released Tuesday.Read More"This attacker's history highlights the specific threat posed by misogynistic extremism," researchers wrote in the case study. "This gender-based ideology, sometimes...
    The Chinese Communist Party remains the “absolutely unparalleled” long-term priority for the U.S. intelligence community. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines made the comment to Congress on Tuesday following the release of the annual threat assessment report at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has become a leading point of national security distress for the United States and the rest of the world. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence's report, released to the public late Monday, warned that "China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas — especially economically, militarily, and technologically — and is pushing to change global norms and potentially threatening its neighbors.” China, the report said, "will remain the top threat to U.S. technological competitiveness as Beijing targets key sectors and proprietary commercial and military technology from U.S. and allied companies.” The intelligence report, which is dated February, said information available as of Jan. 21 was used to prepare the assessment, meaning it was compiled before Russian leader Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine. Despite...
    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was chillingly asked about Russia’s attack on Chernobyl, as well as whether Vladimir Putin has issued a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons. At least one of her answers was reassuring. Shortly after President Joe Biden updated reporters on the situation in Ukraine and took questions Thursday, the subject also dominated Psaki’s press briefing. While much of the same ground was covered, two exchanges stood out. First, Psaki was asked about a comment Putin made Thursday that many took as a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons. Psaki offered a marginally reassuring threat assessment: Q This was asked to the President earlier, but I don’t think we got a full answer. Yesterday, Vladimir Putin said that — he warned if others got involved, they’ll suffer “consequences that you have never encountered in your history.” Does the U.S. understand that as a threat of using nuclear weapons? MS. PSAKI: Well, we can’t, obviously, get into the mind of President Putin as much as he said that, nor do we know all the specific details about his...
    (CNN)Law enforcement is on high alert ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl and remains concerned about the sustained interest that international and domestic terrorists, as well as lone offenders have in targeting mass gatherings, according to a joint threat assessment obtained by CNN. But the multiple federal, state and local agencies that contributed to the threat assessment, found "no information to indicate a specific, credible threat to or associated with" the event at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California."Super Bowl LVI is a potentially attractive target due to the high concentration of attendees and significant media attention the event will receive," the assessment says of the international terrorism threat. ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations routinely promote attacks in Europe and the United States in their online messaging videos and publications, according to the report. The assessment, dated February 3, comes as the Department of Homeland Security updated its national public terrorism bulletin, warning that the spread of conspiracy theories and disinformation is fueling the "heightened threat" environment in the US. Read MoreHomeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that there is...
    The White House defended discrepancies between its assessment of the Kremlin threat to Ukraine and the Ukrainian government's own beliefs about the prospect of Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering troops to cross the countries' shared border. "We're pursuing a two-track approach, which includes deterrence and diplomacy," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday. "We are ready either way for whatever decision President Putin might make." DEMOCRATS URGE BIDEN TO CHANNEL MCCONNELL AND PICK UP SUPREME COURT PACE Being prepared includes working with NATO allies and Eastern European partners, according to Psaki. With Ukraine particularly, the United States is providing humanitarian and security assistance, she said. "That is what we're focused on. So we don't actually see it as a conflict," she added. Declining to offer a new assessment, Psaki repeated that diplomacy is Biden's preferred option. And she stood by the White House's decision last week to claim that Russia is considering producing a graphic video of a staged attack on Russian people or assets as a pretext for invading Ukraine. "We are closely watching the buildup of...
    The White House is distancing itself from its previous assessment that Russia poses an "imminent" threat to Ukraine. Press secretary Jen Psaki contended she and her administration colleagues had deployed the descriptor "once" regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin's plans in neighboring Ukraine. "Then we stopped using it because I think it sent a message that we weren't intending to send, which was that we knew that President Putin had made a decision," she told reporters Wednesday. BIDEN TRIES TO COUNTER CRITICISM OF HIS RECORD ON CRIME Psaki repeated that the U.S. intelligence community still has not determined whether Putin will invade Ukraine as he amasses upward of 100,000 troops along their shared border. The White House's pivot comes after public disagreement with Ukraine over the prospect of conflict with Russia but coincides with Biden ordering 1,000 service members from the U.S. Army's Second Cavalry Regiment to be repositioned from Germany to Romania. Another 1,700 personnel will be sent from North Carolina's Fort Bragg to Poland and 300 from Fort Bragg to Germany. "This has been under discussion for some time...
    (CNN)Federal officials are warning that "threat actors" may take advantage of the upcoming anniversary of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, though there are currently no specific or credible threats, according to an intelligence assessment issued Thursday to state and local officials. "We assess that threat actors will try to exploit the upcoming anniversary of the 6 January 2021 breach of the US Capitol to promote or possibly commit violence," it reads. Lone offenders are the most likely threat to the upcoming anniversary, according to the intelligence assessment. Conspiracy theories about election fraud continue to resonate among domestic violent extremists and could again inspire some to promote or commit violence, according to the assessment, which was prepared by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, US Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies. Additionally, China, Iran and Russia have amplified content regarding the Capitol breach or the upcoming anniversary and continue to spread narratives about US election fraud, according to the intelligence assessment. Read MoreSome Russian news media outlets have amplified content about upcoming events by the current and...
    Biden ordered the federal government to undergo an assessment of the risks climate change poses on national and international security The US intelligence community is sending a unanimous warning about the growing risk that climate change is posing to national security and global stability, a chilling report revealed on Thursday. All 18 US intelligence agencies signed off on the 27-page report, released in a declassified version by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence after President Joe Biden ordered the government to undergo a climate assessment in January.  It comes just over a week before Biden jets off to Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.  The intel community released its predictions for the future days after it was caught by surprise with reports of nuclear-capable missile test launches China had conducted over the summer.   Earlier this week reports emerged that China secretly tested two nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles that orbited the globe before returning to Earth.  The system would be able to overcome US anti-ballistic missile defense systems that are based in Alaska and set up to shoot down...
    Students at two Alexandria schools will be learning remotely after an anonymous threat put both campuses on lockdown. “For the safety and security of our students and staff, the Alexandria City High School King Street and Minnie Howard Campuses are currently on lockdown status and today, October 14, 2021, will be an asynchronous day,” Alexandria City Public Schools posted online. For the safety and security of our students and staff, the @AlexCityTitans King Street and Minnie Howard Campuses are currently on lockdown status and today, October 14, 2021, will be an asynchronous day. More information at https://t.co/HiSr3p1cbQ — Alexandria City Public Schools (@ACPSk12) October 14, 2021 The school system said the Alexandria Police Department received an anonymous threat. “APD is currently conducting a threat assessment to determine credibility,” ACPS said, and there will be more details after the assessment is complete. Officers confirmed no students are at risk. This comes a week after the same high school went under lock down after a student was found with a weapon on school grounds. The Alexandria City Council recently voted to temporarily...
    The Biden administration moved Thursday to further limit arrests and removals people illegally residing in the United States. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced a plan that will prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement Enforcement and Removal Operations officers from targeting millions of illegal immigrants in the country. Instead, ICE officers will begin conducting a “case-by-case assessment of whether an individual poses a threat” before making an arrest. TWENTY PERCENT OF BORDER CROSSERS TESTED POSITIVE AMID DELTA VARIANT SURGE, 'SURPRISED' MAYORKAS SAYS “For the first time, our guidelines will, in the pursuit of public safety, require an assessment of the individual and take into account the totality of the facts and circumstances,” Mayorkas said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “In exercising this discretion, we are guided by the knowledge that there are individuals in our country who have been here for generations and contributed to our country’s well-being, including those who have been on the frontline in the battle against COVID, lead congregations of faith, and teach our children. As we strive to provide them with a path to...
    White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press conference Thursday that she could not give an assessment about whether or not there will be any future terrorist attacks in Kabul. “I think it is important for people to know and understand that the threat that is posed by having thousands of U.S. military on the ground, still currently on the ground, implementing a mission, committed to a mission, as you heard Gen. [Kenneth] McKenzie and the president also say — that is a threat, they are a target. People gathering around at the airport — that is a threat, that is a target,” Psaki stated. “But ISIS’ ability to target individuals who are on the ground in Afghanistan is very different from ISIS’ ability to attack the U.S. and attack the homeland,” Psaki said. WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 25: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on August 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. The bulk of the questions she fielded from reporters were related to the ongoing evacuation efforts in Afghanistan....
    Fears that withdrawal from Afghanistan means the US has 'taken eyes off overseas terrorism' and experts say airport security is weaker than ever.  Leaked data from TSA in 2015 and 2017 showed attempts by covert agents to smuggle in weapons, explosives and banned objects sometimes had a 95 percent success rate.   And now insiders have become increasingly concerned over the potential threat of terrorism from Afghanistan, according to Fox News.    Fears that withdrawal from Afghanistan means the US has 'taken eyes off overseas terrorism' and experts say airport security is weaker than ever  Former US Representative Peter King said: 'I'm worried we've taken our eyes off overseas terrorism when we need to be focusing on it most. 'Our presence in Afghanistan meant we had eyes and ears on Pakistan which has nuclear weapons that we need to monitor carefully. We're losing all that.'  This comes as a Sunday report from Axios revealed Afghanistan fell to the Taliban much sooner than his top military leaders predicted.   Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told a bipartisan group of senators during...
    President Joe Biden declined to call his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a "killer" a second time less than two days before meeting in Geneva for their first in-person talks as presidents. Biden chuckled into his microphone when he asked at his post-NATO press conference about Putin laughing in a weekend interview at Biden's description of him as a "killer." "I'm laughing too," Biden said Monday in Brussels. BIDEN FALLS INTO PRESIDENTIAL TRAP BY PRESSING MANCHIN AND SINEMA, EXPERTS SAY Biden reiterated that Putin, a former KGB agent, himself acknowledged there were "things that he would do or did do." "I don't think it matters a whole lot in terms of this next meeting we're about to have," he said of the "killer" tag, referring to Putin as "bright," "tough," and "a worthy adversary." Biden insisted there was a consensus at the NATO gathering that his one-on-one with Putin on Wednesday is well-timed and would not be perceived as a reward for bad behavior, despite being held 100-plus days into Biden's administration. "I haven’t found a world leader...
    Washington (CNN)The FBI has warned lawmakers that online QAnon conspiracy theorists may carry out more acts of violence as they move from serving as "digital soldiers" to taking action in the real world following the January 6 US Capitol attack.The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy's more militant followers that they "can no longer 'trust the plan" set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as "Q," according an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN. But the report suggests the failure of QAnon predictions to materialize has not led to followers abandoning the conspiracy. Instead, there's a belief that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before.This might lead followers to seek to harm "perceived members of the 'cabal' such as Democrats and other political opposition -- instead of continually awaiting Q's promised actions which have not occurred," according to the assessment. FBI director says bureau is not investigating QAnon conspiracy in its own right "Other QAnon adherents likely...
    Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg/Getty Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.When the US intelligence community last released its public assessment of global threats at the beginning of 2019, white supremacism was barely mentioned. The 42-page report devoted one bullet point to “ethno-supremacist” violence in the context of its threat in Europe, not the United States. This year’s global threat assessment, which Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines released ahead of a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning, was a much different story. In addition to its typical focus on Russia, China, and Iran, the report identified violent extremists, who were described as having “an often overlapping mix of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and exclusionary cultural-nationalist beliefs,” as posing “an elevated threat to the United States.” Look at the differences between ODNI’s last report under former President Donald Trump and this year’s edition. Here’s the 2019 version: Compared to the one put out by President Joe Biden’s administration: The ODNI report says that...
    The US intelligence community has put China at the top of its annual report of national security threats, warning of Beijing’s struggle to realise “an epochal geopolitical shift”, including increased air and naval operations in Asia intended to assert its control in contested areas. “Beijing is increasingly combining its growing military power with its economic, technological and diplomatic clout to preserve the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], secure what it views as its territory and regional pre-eminence and pursue international cooperation at Washington’s expense,” said the report, published last week and declassified on Tuesday. The Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), begins with a section on “China’s push for global power”, followed by three sections describing the “provocative actions” of Russia, Iran and North Korea, before moving on to international issues such as Covid-19 and climate change. Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and...
    Washington — In a new report released Tuesday, the U.S. intelligence community warned of a “diverse array” of global threats that could further destabilize a world shaken by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, technological change and international competition. The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment, a 27-page unclassified document outlining the collective view of the country’s 18 intelligence agencies, said “the potential for cascading events in an increasingly interconnected and mobile world” would create new and unique challenges, as known adversaries continue to jockey for influence and climate change heightens instability. The report said China, Russia, Iran and North Korea would seek to challenge U.S. interests in different arenas and on multiple levels, and that transnational crime, cyber attacks and terrorist plots posed continued threats. Domestic violent extremists, as the intelligence community forecast in a separate report released last month, will pose an “elevated threat.” The COVID-19 pandemic, the assessment said, would “continue to strain governments and societies, fueling humanitarian and economic crises, political unrest, and geopolitical competition,” even after the broad administration of vaccines. “The economic fallout from the pandemic...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to warn against “precipitously” pulling American troops out of the 20-year-old War on Terror. “New reporting suggests the Biden administration plans to turn tail and abandon the fight in Afghanistan,” McConnell said in an afternoon floor speech. “Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished, and an abdication of American leadership.” The Washington Post reported Tuesday that President Joe Biden plans to withdraw troops no later than Sept. 11, exactly 20 years after the terrorist attacks that inspired the War on Terror. The plan keeps 3,000 troops in the region beyond a May 1 withdrawal deadline that had been set by former President Donald Trump. Despite broad, long-standing support across the political spectrum for withdrawing troops, a threat assessment released by the intelligence community on Tuesday said it was likely the Taliban would still a pose a threat to the country’s democratic government in the event the U.S. leaves. “The Afghan...
    (CNN)The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic is poised to fracture societies worldwide, increase instability across the globe and reshape political and economic realities for years to come, the US intelligence community warned in a stark report laying out the top security concerns facing the country. Read the report:
    Washington — In a new report released Tuesday, the U.S. intelligence community warned of a "diverse array" of global threats that could further destabilize a world shaken by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, technological change and international competition. The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment, a 27-page unclassified document outlining the collective view of the country's 18 intelligence agencies, said "the potential for cascading events in an increasingly interconnected and mobile world" would create new and unique challenges, as known adversaries continue to jockey for influence and climate change heightens instability. The report said China, Russia, Iran and North Korea would seek to challenge U.S. interests in different arenas and on multiple levels, and that transnational crime, cyber attacks and terrorist plots posed continued threats. Domestic violent extremists, as the intelligence community forecast in a separate report released last month, will pose an "elevated threat."  The COVID-19 pandemic, the assessment said, would "continue to strain governments and societies, fueling humanitarian and economic crises, political unrest, and geopolitical competition," even after the broad administration of vaccines. "The economic fallout from the...
    The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center recently released a report on targeted school violence that didn’t seem to get much attention from the media. After reading it, we can understand why, as it doesn’t easily fit into the standard legacy media paradigm of exploiting tragedy to “prove” that guns are bad, and we need new laws to further restrict access to them. This report focused on the analysis of “67 averted school attack plots” in the U.S. from 2006 to 2018, with an averted attack defined as “a plot in which (i) a current or former K-12 school student (ii) took steps to advance an attack plan (iii) to cause physical injury to, or the death of, at least one student and/or school employee.” Of course, it is impossible to know for sure, how many of the 67 plots would have actually led to violent attacks, but the report showed that those whose plots were uncovered shared many similarities with those who actually did perpetrate school attacks. The shared histories of those who plotted and those who perpetrated attacks included:...
    U.S. intelligence agencies believe domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the homeland in 2021, predicting in a new joint report that social and political factors including the coronavirus pandemic and "emboldening impact of the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol" will "almost certainly" spur domestic violent extremists to engage in further violence.  The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued an unclassified summary of a joint assessment of the national security threat posed by domestic violent extremism, Wednesday. The comprehensive threat assessment provided by ODNI, the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to the White House and Congress was produced at the direction of President Biden, who solicited the report in the wake of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The full classified report – described by an ODNI official as a "fact-based analysis" that may inform strategy and policy development – was sent to White House and Congress Tuesday, according to an ODNI official. The report arrived on the same day DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called domestic violent extremism the "greatest"...
    U.S. intelligence agencies are warning the country faces a substantial threat from within, fearing a range of domestic extremists could move forward with plans to carry out attacks against fellow citizens or the government itself.  The unclassified assessment, released Wednesday, describes the threat as broad, coming from lone offenders and small cells, all subscribing to a diverse set of violent ideologies but "galvanized by recent political and societal events."  "Biases against minority populations and perceived government overreach will almost certainly continue to drive DVE [domestic violent extremist] radicalization," according to the report, released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), with input from other intelligence and law enforcement agencies.  The report further warned that a combination of factors, including conspiracy theories surrounding the most recent presidential election and conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic, "will almost certainly spur some DVEs to try to engage in violence this year."  The unclassified findings, part of a larger, classified report sent to the White House and Congress, comes more than two months after thousands of Americans — including dozens of...
    (CNN)The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday released an unclassified summary of a joint assessment of the national security threat posed by domestic violent extremism, which was ordered by the White House in January.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — US officials say in unclassified intelligence assessment that violent extremists pose ‘elevated threat’ to US in 2021. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    (CNN)The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday released an unclassified summary of a joint assessment of the national security threat posed by domestic violent extremism as ordered by the White House in January.The threat assessment, produced by ODNI, the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security, was transmitted to the White House and Congress on the same day that DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers domestic violent extremism is the "greatest threat" to the US.A Senate aide familiar with the unclassified summary told CNN that it highlights the challenges of dealing with so-called lone wolf extremists -- individuals with loose associations following ideologies of hate and extremism who Mayorkas said Wednesday are "willing and able to take those ideologies and execute on them in unlawful, illegal, violent ways."It also covers how social media is used by both individuals and extremist groups, the aide said.The full classified assessment was prepared in response to President Joe Biden's request for a comprehensive threat assessment of domestic violent extremism, an ODNI official told CNN, adding that the intelligence community was...
    People walk with signs against assault rifles during "March for Our Lives", an organized demonstration to end gun violence, in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 24, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon A 15-year-old was injured in a school shooting in Arkansas on Monday. School shootings temporarily stopped while students learned remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts told Insider school policies and stricter gun laws can prevent shootings from happening. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. A 15-year-old student was injured on Monday during a shooting at a junior high school in Arkansas — marking the alarming return of such events that had stopped for nearly a year as students across the country learned virtually from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While school shootings are relatively rare compared to other types of shootings in the United States, over the past several decades they have prompted nationwide protests and calls for stricter gun legislation. And with the return of in-person learning, psychology and criminology experts told Insider that while school shootings could happen again, policies including threat assessment teams...
    DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – State Senator Bob Hall said Tuesday, Feb. 23, he will refile a bill that would require the state to conduct a threat assessment of the Texas electric grid. Two years ago, the Republican from Van Zandt County filed the legislation that passed the Senate, but died in the House. READ MORE: 5 ERCOT Board Members Announce Resignations In Wake Of Statewide Power Outages During Winter Storms He said he has been trying to get this measure passed since 2015. It would have created a Grid Security Council, appointed by the Governor, to make initial recommendations to the legislature by November of last year on how to address potential threats facing the grid, including the weather, cyber, and sabotage. Sen. Hall said, “We need to be aware of them and quit pretending like it’s going to always magically appear whenever we turn the switch on we’re going to have electricity. Electricity in today’s world is the third most important thing to sustaining life. The only two things more important are air and water. Even our water supply is...
    Iran, Black separatists and the Islamic State group: These are just a few of the myriad potential threats to the Super Bowl this year, according to a government threat assessment obtained by Yahoo News. The Jan. 27 document, a product of federal agencies, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, and local law enforcement, notes that there is no information on a specific credible threat planned against the Super Bowl but outlines a variety of potential threats, from terrorists poisoning the food or water supply to an attack using commercial drones. It also states “the FBI and DHS remain concerned about potential retaliatory attacks” by Iran in response to the U.S. assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani last year. “Although security measures will be in place around Super Bowl LV and adjacent areas on the day of the game, Super Bowl LV and associated events are likely an attractive target due to the relatively high concentration of attendees, symbolism of the event, and the significant national media attention the event will receive,” the assessment says. The report, called a Joint...
    The Biden administration and acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary David Pekoske issued a National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin on Wednesday over concerns that violent extremists, like those arrested for rioting at the United States Capitol on January 6, may continue to commit violence across the country. DHS notably did not list an end date for the advisory. (RELATED: Biden Administration Investigating ‘Domestic Violent Extremism’ After Capitol Riot) WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 26: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus pandemic in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden said his administration has secured commitments from vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna to purchase another 200 million doses that will arrive this summer. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images) “There is currently a heightened threat environment across the United States that is likely to persist over the coming weeks,” the advisory reads. “DHS does not have any information to indicate a specific, credible plot; however, violent riots have continued in recent days and we remain concerned that individuals frustrated with...
    Reuters January 22, 2021 0 Comments President Joe Biden has directed his administration to conduct a full assessment of the risk of domestic terrorism in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, the White House said on Friday. The assessment will be carried out by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in coordination with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “We want fact-based analysis, upon which we can shape policy,” Psaki told reporters in a briefing. Psaki said that, in addition to the threat assessment, the White House would build out capability within its National Security Council to counter domestic violent extremism, including a policy review on how the federal government can share information about the threat better. The White House also will coordinate relevant parts of the government to “enhance and accelerate efforts” to address the issue, Psaki added. “The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known:...
    President Joe Biden has ordered his intelligence community to conduct a threat assessment of “domestic violent extremism” in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the move at a Friday press conference, saying the threat of extremism within the U.S. is a “serious and growing national security threat.” Biden has ordered Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to compile the threat assessment as well as increase capability of disrupting violent demonstrations. (RELATED: Joe Biden Vows To ‘Codify’ Roe V. Wade, Appoint Pro-Roe Judges On Anniversary Of Case) Biden is “requesting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinated with the FBI and DHS, on domestic violent extremism,” from Haines, according to Psaki. .@PressSec says that President Biden has sent a task to the ODNI “requesting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinated with the FBI and DHS, on domestic violent extremism.” pic.twitter.com/ZUlNocbNtD — Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 22, 2021 Biden assumed office barely two weeks after pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to thwart the certification of Biden’s victory. Five people died in...
    President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines speaks at his transition headquarters in the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, November 24, 2020.Joshua Roberts | Reuters President Joe Biden asked his intelligence chief to launch a "comprehensive threat assessment" into domestic terrorism in the wake of the deadly Capitol riots, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday. The invasion of the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump "underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat," Psaki said at a press briefing. Biden asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, led by his newly Senate-confirmed pick Avril Haines, to coordinate with the FBI and the Homeland Security Department to gather fact-based analysis from across the government on domestic violent extremism, Psaki said.A man calls on people to raid the building as Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they try to storm the US Capitol building in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021.Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty...
    President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to run the 18 U.S. intelligence agencies anticipates producing a public assessment of the threat from QAnon, she testified at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Avril Haines, whom Biden tapped as the next director of national intelligence, told Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) that she would provide him with such an assessment, which Heinrich requested last month in a letter. “I’ve seen that letter and absolutely, if confirmed, I would work with the FBI and DHS to get an answer to that question,” said Haines. In one of the indications of how the Jan. 6 insurrection is shaping the context of Biden’s impending presidency, Haines seemed to reject putting the intelligence agencies in the lead on “an issue such as solely domestic terrorism.” She instead told the Senate intelligence committee that she wanted to provide “critical support” to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, which will play that leading role. But she did not specify what such support would precisely be. Instead, Haines indicated she views the intelligence agency’s work with regard to far-right terror –...
    (CNN)Domestic extremists pose the most likely threat to the presidential inauguration, particularly those who believe the incoming administration is illegitimate, according to a joint bulletin from the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and eight other agencies obtained by CNN.The assessment, dated January 14, also notes that since the attack on the US Capitol, Russian, Iranian, and Chinese influence actors have "seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition," adding that there's a lack of specific, credible information indicating that they are seeking to commit violence. What we know about potential armed protests ahead of Joe Bidens inaugurationThe joint assessment provides a breakdown of additional concerns leading up to inauguration day, including possible violence and cautioning of use of unauthorized, unmanned aircraft system operations that could disrupt law enforcement operations."In light of the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January, planned events in Washington, DC, in the lead up to and day of Inauguration Day offer continued opportunities for violence targeting public officials, government buildings, and federal and local law enforcement," the...
    A group of Senate Democrats, led by Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), is asking federal authorities for a full accounting of threats posed by QAnon, the burgeoning fringe movement peddling bizarre conspiracies that involve President Trump rooting out satanist pedophiles in government. On Tuesday, Schumer and 13 Democrats sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Joseph Maher, a top official at the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence division, requesting a written brief on the QAnon threat domestically. “QAnon conspiracy theories have inspired acts of domestic extremism and violence, sought to undermine democratic institutions, and contributed to hatred in the United States and overseas,” wrote the Democrats, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Daily Beast. They also requested analysis on “the role of foreign influence actors in nurturing and amplifying QAnon,” citing reporting that foreign actors, such as Russia, have used the conspiracy theory as part of its toolkit to inflame political division and racial tension in the U.S. The FBI has previously classified QAnon as a possible source...
    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not include Antifa in its latest assessment of domestic threats to the homeland. The 26-page Homeland Threat Assessment (HTA), dated October 2020, does describe the problem of violent protests, though it emphasizes the threat posed by white supremacist groups and omits the word “Antifa.” As Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf notes in a foreword (original emphasis): Domestic violent extremism is a threat to the Homeland. As Americans, we all have the right to believe whatever we want, but we don’t have a right to carry out acts of violence to further those beliefs. The Department works with other Government, non-Government, and private sector partners to prevent individuals from making this transition from protected speech to domestic terrorism reflected by violence. As Secretary, I am concerned about any form of violent extremism. That is why we design our programs to be threat agnostic – ensuring that we can combat a broad range of domestic threats. However, I am particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent...
    (CNN)White supremacist extremists will remain the deadliest domestic terror threat to the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security's first annual homeland threat assessment, which details a range of threats from election interference to unprecedented storms. Since 2018, White supremacists have conducted more lethal attacks in the US than any other domestic extremist movement, demonstrating a "longstanding intent" to target racial and religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, politicians and those they believe promote multi-culturalism and globalization, according to the report. "As Secretary, I am concerned about any form of violent extremism," wrote acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. "However, I am particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years." Whistleblower accuses Trump appointees of downplaying Russian interference and White supremacist threatThe assessment, which comes less than a month before Election Day, was the subject of a recent whistleblower complaint alleging political influence at the department. White supremacy was at the forefront of the first presidential debate last week, when President Donald Trump declined to...
    The Homeland Security Department’s 2020 threat assessment warns of a host of national security risks to the United States, including foreign countries seeking to influence the upcoming presidential election and meddling with the 2020 census. The 26-page Homeland Threat Assessment was released Monday evening, detailing numerous foreign and domestic threats. They ranged from white supremacist and anarchist violence to foreign terrorism and espionage, and multiple sections were devoted to laying out the DHS’s perspective on foreign-influence operations, including efforts by Russia, China, and Iran to exploit the coronavirus pandemic, sow discord in the U.S., and spread disinformation about democratic processes. The report comes a few weeks after a DHS whistleblower complaint alleged that top Trump administration officials, including acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, sought to politicize the intelligence surrounding foreign election interference. Wolf and the DHS have repeatedly and strenuously denied the claims. “Threats to our election have been another rapidly evolving issue. Nation-states like China, Russia, and Iran will try to use cyber capabilities or foreign influence to compromise or disrupt infrastructure related to the 2020...
    The Department of Homeland Security has concluded its first-ever "Homeland Threat Assessment," a comprehensive report designed to educate the public on the largest threats facing the country. The report, first obtained by CBS News, highlights major threats posed by China and Russia and identifies white supremacist groups as posing the "most persistent and lethal threat" of all domestic violent extremist groups.  In an exclusive interview, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said the report "touches on all the major threat streams that I look at on a daily basis."  In September, a senior DHS official alleged in a whistleblower complaint that Wolf told him to withhold an intelligence notification on Russian activities because it "made the president look bad," and claimed senior Trump administration officials urged analysts to downplay the threat of violent white supremacy. But Wolf told CBS News on Monday that the Homeland Threat Assessment was free from political influence.  Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox "I am obviously aware of those complaints," he said. "I think if you look at the document, Russia is...
    (CNN)The Department of Homeland Security is poised to miss its deadline to publish the first Homeland Threat Assessment, which was the subject of a recent whistleblower complaint alleging political motivations.The assessment, which is intended to provide an overview of the terrorist threat landscape and anticipate emerging threats, was scheduled to be released on Thursday, according to the department's counterterrorism action plan.Last month, leaked drafts of the assessment showed changing language about the threat from White supremacists. Around the same time the drafts were made public, DHS whistleblower Brian Murphy claimed that top department officials raised concerns about how the assessment would reflect upon President Donald Trump. Murphy previously led the department's intelligence division, before being reassigned amid controversy that his office gathered intelligence on US journalists.DHS spokesperson Chase Jennings said the assessment is forthcoming but said there is no statutory deadline for the product. Jennings said Wolf addressed the major threats facing the country in September during his State of the Homeland address.Read MoreWhistleblower accuses Trump appointees of downplaying Russian interference and White supremacist threatAll three DHS threat assessment drafts...
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