One government organization believes that those who spread conspiracy theories surrounding the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas could bring about similar incidents.
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a bulletin in which the department summarizes the current situation in the U.S. and how the country “remains in a heightened threat environment.”
One reason for the threat assessment given by the DHS is those individuals who are using the shooting in Texas where 21 people were killed, including 19 children, to spread conspiracy theories online about the Robb Elementary School massacre.
The bulletin stated that “individuals in online forums that routinely promulgate domestic violent extremist and conspiracy theory-related content have praised the May 2022 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and encouraged copycat attacks.”
Last month, following another deadly mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York that resulted in 10 people dead, the House of Representatives passed legislation aimed at combating domestic terrorism.
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act was passed by a 222-203 vote with just one Republican, Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, crossing the aisle to vote in favor of the measure. Additionally, four Republicans in the House abstained from casting a vote on the act.
Tuesday’s bulletin from DHS goes on to state, in regard to the Uvalde shooting, “others have seized on the event to attempt to spread disinformation and incite grievances, including claims it was a government-staged event meant to advance gun control measures.”
DHS, in their bulletin, when providing their reasoning for their assessment, also stated that “some domestic violent extremists” may potentially use the U.S.-Mexico border situation as a reason to use violence.
“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,” the bulletin read.
Additionally, the bulletin also mentioned “the high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case about abortion rights” and how some, on both sides of the issue, “have encouraged violence, including against government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities, as well as those with opposing ideologies” on public forums as another reason for the heightened state in the country.
Newsweek reached out to DHS for comment.
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