There have been online comments such as “the system is broken,” “take action into their own hands,” and “bring out the gallows,” Cohen said, offering as paraphrases of what has been observed.
While the conspiracy theories vary, there has been an ongoing narrative focused on the false premise that the presidential election was illegitimate, Cohen said. That narrative is paired with an increase in calls for violence to rectify the situation.
“It’s very similar to the stuff we saw prior to January 6,” Cohen, the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis senior official performing the duties of the under secretary, said. But the comments have stopped short of specific dates and threats, he noted.
Several swirling conspiracy theories point to a process that will change the results of the election.
“Concern from a law enforcement perspective is at a certain point in time, all of the conspiracy theories that point to a change occurring through process are going to sort of wear out. And the question is going to be, are people going to try to resort to violence, in or in furtherance of, that false narrative?” Cohen said.
The terrorism bulletins allow DHS to provide the American public with an understanding of current threats to the US, replacing the post-9/11 color-coded terrorism warnings.
The current threat environment has prompted a flurry of effort to prevent a deadly or destructive incident from occurring.
Calls for violence online similar to before January 6 Capitol attack, DHS Intel chief says