(CNN) — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI have warned of an increase in “violent threats” against federal law enforcement, courts, and government personnel and facilities following the search warrant at the Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, according to a joint intelligence bulletin obtained by CNN.
“These threats occur primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social networking sites, web forums, video-sharing platforms, and image boards. The FBI and DHS would like to ensure that law enforcement, the courts, and the government personnel are aware of the variety of criminal and violent threats and incidents,” says the bulletin, dated August 12.
Joint intelligence bulletins are intended to share information with authorities about the threat landscape. DHS has been warning for more than a year that people will use political ideologies to justify acts of violence and underlined in Friday’s bulletin that domestic violent extremists are motivated by perceptions of government overreach and voter fraud.
In June, for example, the DHS intelligence branch also warned law enforcement, first responders, and private sector partners across the country about potential domestic violence extremist activity in response to the Supreme Court’s abortion decision. .
Friday’s joint intelligence bulletin notes an increase in violent online threats against federal officials and facilities, “including the threat to plant a suspected dirty bomb outside FBI headquarters and issuing blanket calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion’”. It also states that the FBI and DHS have identified threats against specific individuals, including the federal judge who approved the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.
The bulletin also cites an incident earlier this week when a suspected gunman attempted to enter to the FBI field office in Cincinnati and was killed in Ohio after a car chase and hours-long standoff with police.
On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland denounced “unfounded attacks on the professionalism of FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors.”
CNN previously reported that the FBI is investigating an “unprecedented” number of threats against bureau staff and property, including agents listed in court records as being involved in the search.
Violent rhetoric has circulated on an online forum dedicated to Trump, following the FBI’s search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort. “Lock and load” was one of the top comments, while other posts were more explicit, saying, “I’m just going to say it. [El secretario de Justicia Merrick] Garland needs to be killed. Simple as that.” Another user posted, “kill all feds.”
After the Jan. 6 attack, alternative social media platforms became more popular with Trump supporters after companies like Facebook and Twitter banned Trump and other prominent figures from spreading election conspiracy theories.
Those platforms, like Trump’s own Truth Social site, are touted as bastions of free speech, with looser rules and moderation. That can result in the proliferation of violent rhetoric. But talking about violence is not exclusive to the most marginal platforms.
There was also a spike in tweets Monday mentioning “civil war,” at one point more than one tweet per second, according to a review of CNN data from Dataminr, a service that tracks Twitter activity.
Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.