Homeland Security Issues Another Security Bulletin to Drive Narrative

COMMENTARY Homeland Security

Homeland Security Issues Another Security Bulletin to Drive Narrative

Jun 9th, 2022 6 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Lora Ries

Director, Border Security and Immigration Center

Lora is director of Heritage’s Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, on May 04, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

The Biden administration is using the terrorism bulletin to advance its chosen narrative: White supremacy is everywhere (the administration chooses to focus).

Nowhere does the bulletin mention the real threats entering the U.S. through the open southern border every day.

The left is revealing its practice and pattern of encouraging and supporting violence leading up to yet another election, in the guise of a “white supremacy” alert.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued the sixth National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin of the 17-month-old Biden administration on June 7. With a new bulletin every three months, Americans should ask: Are the threats facing America changing that rapidly, or is the administration using the bulletin as a tool for some other purpose?

Timing is everything in life and especially in Washington, D.C. To help answer this question about why so many Biden administration advisory bulletins coming out of the Department of Homeland Security, one need only look at what else has been happening the past few weeks as we begin the summer, when the left needs voters energized to vote in the November midterms.

Given the very selective threats and priorities included in the bulletin, set against known and suspected terrorists entering the U.S. through the southern border, numerous mass shootings, and violent pro-abortion supporters firebombing pregnancy centers and protesting at conservative Supreme Court justices’ homes and churches, the answer clearly appears to be that the Biden administration is using the terrorism bulletin to advance its chosen narrative: White supremacy is everywhere (the administration chooses to focus).

In releasing the new bulletin, Mayorkas said:

As recent acts of violence in communities across the country have so tragically demonstrated, the nation remains in a heightened threat environment, and we expect that environment will become more dynamic in the coming months, as several high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets. These targets could include public gatherings; faith-based institutions; schools; racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; government facilities and personnel; U.S. critical infrastructure; the media; and perceived ideological opponents.

Translation: Violence will happen everywhere and get worse this summer and leading up to the November elections.

Nowhere does Mayorkas acknowledge the lack of prosecution of dangerous criminals by leftist district attorneys as a key factor in such acts of violence. Nor does Mayorkas denounce the “defund the police” efforts or mentality, which results in fewer police officers, less law enforcement, greater reluctance by police to engage violent criminals, more preventable violence, and—needlessly—more victims. 

DHS further states:

Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence due to factors such as personal grievances, reactions to current events, and adherence to violent extremist ideologies, including racially or ethnically motivated or anti-government/anti-authority violent extremism … DHS continues to assess that the primary threat of mass casualty violence in the United States stems from lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances.

The bulletin lists selected mass shootings and unequally describes them to push the white supremacy narrative. With respect to the May Buffalo, New York, grocery store shooting, the bulletin reports that the killer was “motivated by racist, anti-Black, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, often referred to as the ‘great replacement’ or ‘white genocide.’  These theories claim that minorities, multiculturalists, and a ruling elite are deliberately threatening the existence of the white race.” 

Compare that to the bulletin’s limited description of the April New York City subway shooting. Nowhere does the bulletin mention that the shooter is black or that he had a history of spewing hatred for white people. Instead, the bulletin states that “a number of pro-al-Qa‘ida and ISIS users celebrated the attack.” Not only is that irrelevant in this case, but it appears that the administration deliberately seeks to deflect from the black-on-white violence.   

The bulletin omitted other very recent mass shootings where the perpetrators were black, including PhiladelphiaChattanooga, Tennessee; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The administration doesn’t talk about Waukesha, Wisconsin, where a black driver, who called for violence against white people, mowed down dozens of people marching in a Christmas parade with his SUV, killing six people, including an 8-year-old boy. And, of course, the weekly Chicago black-on-black violence is never mentioned by this administration.

The bulletin also raises the southern border crisis, but not to point out the national security threat. It reads:

Some domestic violent extremists have expressed grievances related to their perception that the U.S. government is unwilling or unable to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and have called for violence to stem the flow of undocumented migrants to the United States.  We assess that there is increased risk of domestic violent extremists using changes in border security-related policies and/or enforcement mechanisms to justify violence against individuals, such as minorities and law enforcement officials involved in the enforcement of border security.

Nowhere does the bulletin mention the real threats entering the U.S. through the open southern border every day. In just recent weeks, Americans learned of an ISIS threat to assassinate former President George W. Bush by exploiting the open border.

Nor does the bulletin alert to the suspected terrorist who was rapidly processed into the U.S., per Biden policies and practice, before his background check was complete. When the completed check subsequently revealed he was a suspected terrorist, it took two weeks for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to receive approval to arrest the suspected terrorist.

And both of these cases came on the heel of Mayorkas testifying about 42 known or suspected terrorists let into the U.S. and for whom Mayorkas could not provide their current location. But in the eyes of the administration, if you point out our insecure border, you might be a domestic violent extremist.

In conjunction with this bulletin border language, Americans need to be familiar with a June 6 letter to Congress in which 140 groups accuse those who oppose President Joe Biden’s open border policies and asylum fraud of being white supremacists, just like the Buffalo shooter. Expect the administration to work in concert with congressional Democrats and leftist groups to continue this tactic of labeling anyone who seeks a secure border and immigration integrity as a white supremacist.  

The bulletin also points out the violence related to the coming (final) U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization abortion decision. DHS writes:

Individuals who advocate both for and against abortion have, on public forums, encouraged violence, including against government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities, as well as those with opposing ideologies.

The administration tries to portray violence and threats equally between abortion advocates and pro-life supporters when that defies reality. It is pro-abortion activists, not pro-lifers, firebombing and vandalizing pro-life and church facilities. It is the pro-abortion radicals who are illegally protesting in front of conservative Supreme Court justices’ homes in an attempt to influence their final decision in Dobbs. And worse, it is the violent pro-abortionists who threaten and endanger these same justices’ lives.

The leftists in DHS know they have a violence issue on their side of the ideological spectrum and try to justify it. In a leaked DHS May 13 memo, the intelligence arm of the department is quoted as writing, “The mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics does not constitute domestic violent extremism or illegal activity and is constitutionally protected.”

This claim directly contradicts the administration and congressional Democrats’ efforts to label their political opponents as domestic terrorists and violent extremists for Jan. 6 participation, speaking out at school board meetings, and other lawful and peaceful forms of assembly and speech. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 committee prime-time hearing production this week is Exhibit A.

The intent behind the administration releasing this sixth terrorism bulletin seems to be revealed in the memo’s following language:

As the United States enters mid-term election season this year, we assess that calls for violence by domestic violent extremists directed at democratic institutions, political candidates, party offices, election events, and election workers will likely increase.

America lived through many violent months in 2020, leading up to that election—violence that was carried out by radical groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter and supported by the left. Now, the left is revealing its practice and pattern of encouraging and supporting violence leading up to yet another election, in the guise of a “white supremacy” alert bulletin.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal