This July 4, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center have a warning to law enforcement: Be vigilant. The federal agencies warn that both “homegrown” and “domestic” terrorists could seize Independence Day as an opportunity for attack, ABC News reports.
Bulletins warning of “homegrown” terrorists, people inspired by overseas organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda, are not unusual before major national holidays. What is uncommon is a warning of “domestic” terrorists, people radicalized by United States issues, such as abortion and white supremacy.
According to the bulletin, obtained by ABC News, domestic terrorists “have attacked perceived oppressors, opponents, or enemies engaged in outdoor First Amendment-protected rallies or protests during past summers.”
The bulletin specifically mentions the 2017 case in which James Fields drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at the now-infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The attack killed a woman and injured many others. Despite the warning, the bulletin makes clear that there are no planned acts of terror that these agencies are aware of at this time.
“The FBI, DHS, and NCTC are not aware of any specific, credible threats surrounding the upcoming Independence Day holiday, but note that previous attacks in the Homeland have happened with little to no warning,” the agencies said.