US abortion ruling triggers ‘violent extremism’ warning
The US Department of Homeland Security has predicted a spike in “domestic violent extremism” in response to a Supreme Court ruling which overturned federal abortion protections, according to a memo obtained by Axios.
The DHS intelligence unit issued a message to law enforcement agencies, first responders and “private sector partners” on Friday warning of renewed violence over the Roe v. Wade decision, which has already triggered protests across the country.
Supreme Court justices and other government officials are “those most at risk,” the memo added, pointing to acts of violence by abortion rights group ‘Jane’s Revenge,’ as well as an alleged plot to assassinate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who voted to overturn the landmark abortion case on Thursday.
Abortion clinics, “reproductive health care facilities” and “faith-based organizations” were also named as possible targets for violent actors on both sides of the controversial issue. The DHS noted that arson attacks had been carried out by some groups, and went on to cite “at least 11 incidents of vandalism threatening violence targeting religious facilities perceived as being opposed to abortion.”
“Americans’ freedom of speech and right to peacefully protest are fundamental constitutional rights. Those rights do not extend to violence and other illegal activity,” a department spokesperson told Axios, adding that the DHS “will continue working with our partners across every level of government to share timely information and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe.”
Homeland Security frequently issues warnings about potential violence over political causes – repeatedly raising concerns over those opposed to Covid-19 mandates after the pandemic kicked off in 2020 – and released a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin which discussed possible unrest over the Roe v. Wade decision earlier this month.