The FBI and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have warned of an increase in the number of violent threats against federal agents, following last week’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
In a joint intelligence bulletin issued on Friday, the FBI and DHS warned that violent threats against federal law enforcement, judicial and government personnel and property had increased online and across multiple platforms, including on social media, CBS News reported on Sunday, saying it has obtained the bulletin.
"Since 8 August 2022, the FBI and DHS have identified multiple articulated threats and calls for the targeted killing of judicial, law enforcement, and government officials associated with the Palm Beach search, including the federal judge who approved the Palm Beach search warrant,” according to the memo.
The menacing messages also include a threat to place “a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion.’”
The FBI declined to confirm the existence of the intelligence bulletin on Sunday, but said the agency was always concerned about violence and threats of violence against law enforcement.
On Friday, the names of the two FBI agents who signed the warrant authorizing the search of Trump's home were leaked and circulated online before the court officially unsealed redacted records that protected the agents’ identities.
The warrant was made public after FBI agents raiding Trump’s estate uncovered multiple sets of classified documents, including the nation’s nuclear secrets. A Trump lawyer had told the Justice Department in June that there was no more classified information at Mar-a-Lago.
The warrant directed agents to seize “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed” based on possible violations of the Espionage Act.
BREAKING: FBI is investigating Trump for potential violation of Espionage Act.— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) August 12, 2022
We repeat: ESPIONAGE.
This is insane. If you’re not fed up, you’re not paying enough attention.
Trump has called for the return of the classified documents seized at his property, while congressional Republicans demand to see an affidavit that justified their seizure.
The unsealing of such affidavits is highly unusual and would require approval from a federal judge
Trump and his allies have responded with anger to the search of the former president’s Florida mansion, claiming without evidence that their supporters would be targeted next.
Some Trump allies have gone as far as comparing the FBI to "Gestapo," while others accused the agency of being biased.
In a post on Twitter, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt condemned right-wing politicians and commentators for demonizing law enforcement.
The details of this DHS/FBI bulletin are stunning. Let’s be clear: this is the direct result of irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric demonizing law enforcement from right-wing politicians and commentators. https://t.co/FQAVFoGxsI— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) August 14, 2022
Trump is being investigated for potential violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and unlawful removal or destruction of government records, according to the warrant.
Attorney General Merrick Garland approved the search of Trump’s estate last week amid warnings by federal investigators that the missing documents presented an extraordinary threat to national security.