[Letter from Bennie G. Thompson and Max Rose to Elizabeth Neumann Regarding DHS Efforts to Counter Extremism During COVID-19 Pandemic, March 24, 2020]   [open pdf - 214KB]

From the Document: "As the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease] pandemic continues to upend American life in new and unpredictable ways, we seek an understanding of how DHS is preparing for and mitigating potential homeland security threats from bad actors, such as violent extremists in the United States and abroad, who may seek to exploit vulnerabilities stemming from this metastasizing crisis. To that end, we would like to know how the Office of Threat Prevention and Security Policy is coordinating DHS prevention efforts to account for the evolving threat landscape under the specter of COVID-19. Recent media reports have highlighted how white supremacist extremists across the world are discussing ways to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to advance violent ends, including, in some cases, accelerating society toward mass violence by sowing chaos. ISIS [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], too, appears to be interested in exploiting the crisis: in the March 19, 2020, issue of the ISIS magazine 'Al-Naba'', an editorial urged adherents to leverage the pandemic to free prisoners from the 'prisons of the polytheists and the camps of humiliation,' arguing that Western countries' security forces are preoccupied with the crisis and their financial resources are being drained."

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U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security: https://homeland.house.gov/
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