The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent a letter to law-enforcement officials warning that terrorists may try to seek advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by carrying out attacks on the USA.
ABC News reported that the agency's Counterterrorism Mission Center and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office sent a bulletin to law enforcement across the country on 23 March saying that extremists may be looking to take advantage of the outbreak.
'Violent extremists probably are seeking to exploit public fears associated with the spread of Covid-19 to incite violence, intimidate targets and promote their ideologies, and we assess these efforts will intensify in the coming months', the intelligence bulletin stated.
The DHS memo cited a clipping from a weekly newsletter by the Islamic State group that calls for supporters to carry out attacks against overburdened health care systems in Western countries.
The bulletin also outlined instances of activity by white supremicists who the Department says have 'advocated for violence against a range of targets, including critical infrastructure and faith-based and minority communities – including Asian Americans in response to the Covid outbreak'.
FBI Director Chris Wray said in a video message on 26 March that the Department is stepping up its monitoring of threats against the US.