Several government agencies are warning that political extremists pose a “heightened threat” around the midterm elections as political candidates and election officials could become targets, according to multiple reports.
The bulletin from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Capitol Police and the National Counterterrorism Center reportedly came out the same day a man broke into the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and assaulted her husband with a hammer.
Such threats by lone actors pose the greatest security risk, NPR reported.
The agencies distributed the document to their partners in law enforcement across the country.
“Following the 2022 midterm election, perceptions of election-related fraud and dissatisfaction with electoral outcomes likely will result in heightened threats of violence against a broad range of targets ― such as ideological opponents and election workers,” it said, according to CNN. The outlet noted it did not contain any specific examples of threats.
It builds, however, on a warning the FBI issued earlier this month that election workers were facing unprecedented threats in seven states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin.
With less than two weeks left to Election Day, the new document listed many potential targets for domestic violent extremism (DVE) violence, per CBS News: “candidates running for public office, elected officials, election workers, political rallies, political party representatives, racial and religious minorities, or perceived ideological opponents.”
Officials have not yet stated the motive behind the attack on the Pelosis’ home, which left Paul Pelosi, 82, in the hospital needing surgery to his skull and other parts of his body. (He is expected to make a full recovery.) But the suspect in police custody appears to have a history of posting right-wing conspiracy theories and doubting the validity of the 2020 election.
Over half of Republicans running for major offices this year are election deniers, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. Around 50 are running in close races.
Heavily armed poll watchers have already cropped up in Arizona, where they have been spotted surveilling ballot drop boxes in what was a hotly contested county two years ago.