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FBI, Homeland Security Warn about Potential Violence Targeting Faith-Based Communities

By Steve Neavling

Faith-based communities are at risk of further violence, the FBI and Homeland Security said in a letter Monday, following a hostage standoff at a Texas synagogue over the weekend. 

“Faith based communities have and will likely continue to be targets of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists,” the letter from Paul Abbate, FBI deputy director, and John D. Cohen, the top intelligence official at DHS, says, CNN reports.

According to the letter, online forums known to host domestic violence extremists have discussed Jewish targets connected to COVID-19 conspiracy theories, election fraud lies, and “even the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and resettlement of Afghans to the United States.”

The letter added that the global pandemic and the growing idealogical divide in the U.S. could result in violence. 

“Foreign influence actors have also promoted narratives online intended to sow discord in the U.S. and foreign terrorist groups continue to encourage followers to conduct attacks and use social media to incite violence,” the letter states.


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