Homeland Security Warns Terrorists May Take Advantage of Coronavirus Pandemic to Attack U.S.

A North Charleston police officer carries a protective mask around his gun belt while working traffic at Roper St. Francis’ North Charleston office, March 16, 2020, in North Charleston, S.C. Mic Smith/AP, FILE

A Department of Homeland Security memo sent to law enforcement officials around the country warns that violent extremists could seek to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by carrying out attacks against the U.S.

“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,” according to the intelligence bulletin, compiled by the agency’s Counterterrorism Mission Center and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office.

At this time, DHS said it has “no information indicating any active plotting is underway,” but that it has observed certain extremist groups, both foreign and domestic, looking to spread misinformation about the coronavirus.

The memo, which was circulated on Monday, comes after assurances from FBI Director Chris Wray in a video message that agents would be even more vigilant in monitoring threats to the U.S. as the virus spreads.

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SOURCE: ABC News, Alexander Mallin and Josh Margolin