The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that COVID-19 “misinformation” and “false or misleading narratives” inspired violent terrorism during 2021 but refuses to provide proof to support their accusations.
DHS issued a terrorism advisory bulletin Monday warning the public about the dangers of online misinformation, which the agency said has been exploited by “threat actors” to inspire acts of terrorism.
“The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors,” DHS said in the bulletin. “These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.”
The agency specifically cited COVID-19 misinformation and false claims about election fraud as fueling violence.
“For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021,” the DHS bulletin said.
The agency offered no examples of violent terrorist attacks during 2021 that were inspired by false claims related to COVID-19, only the January 6 Capitol riot, that was inspired by election fraud claims.
The DHS bulletin also claimed that “threat actors” were attacking immigrants and stoking resentment toward Afghan migrants resettled in the U.S. following President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
“A small number of threat actors are attempting to use the evacuation and resettlement of Afghan nationals following the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan last year as a means to exacerbate long-standing grievances and justify attacks against immigrants,” the agency said.