The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) predicts a surge in “domestic violent extremism” in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the country’s federal abortion protections, a report has unveiled.
The DHS intelligence unit issued a message to law enforcement agencies, first responders and “private sector partners” on Friday warning them of renewed violence over the so-called Roe v. Wade decision, which has already provoked massive protest rallies throughout the US, Axios news outlet reported, citing an internal memo obtained from the agency.
According to the memo, Supreme Court justices and other government officials are “those most at risk,” pointing specifically to potential acts of violence by abortion rights group ‘Jane’s Revenge,’ as well as a suspected plot to assassinate Trump-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who voted to overturn the landmark abortion law.
The DHS memo further identified abortion clinics, “reproductive health care facilities” and “faith-based organizations” as other potential targets for violent actors on both sides of the controversial issue.
The government agency also noted that arson attacks had been carried out by some groups, citing “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,” said a DHS spokesperson as quoted in the report.
The official also added that the department “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.”
The DHS, which regularly issues alerts about potential violence over political causes, had also released a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin earlier this month warning of possible unrest over the Roe v. Wade decision.