(CNN) — The FBI is investigating an “unprecedented” number of threats against Bureau employees and property in the wake of the Search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, including some against agents listed in court filings as involved in the recent search, a law enforcement source told CNN.
The office, along with the Department of Homeland Security, has also issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning of “violent threats” against federal law enforcement agencies, courts, and government personnel and agencies.
On Friday, the names of the two agents who signed the search warrant were circulating online. The names were included in a version of the search warrant that was leaked before the documents were officially unsealed. The version released by the court redacted the agents’ names.
Officials with the staff security division at FBI headquarters have also observed efforts by online actors to publicly release the personal information of other bureau employees — also known as “doxxing,” including those involved in the search of Trump’s residence were involved, a law enforcement source tells CNN.
Unlike other U.S. intelligence officials who operate covertly, the overwhelming majority of FBI employees operate in their true name, the source noted, making those named in court filings related to the search particularly vulnerable to nefarious online – Actors power.
The increased threat level follows a high profile week for the office where agents executed a search warrant at Trump’s Palm Beach home as part of evidence in a national security investigation into presidential records, including classified documents, brought to Florida. That warrantywhat was unsealed and released by a federal judge It was announced on Friday that the Justice Department is investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records as part of its investigation.
In the days following the raid, violent threats surfaced online, with placards reading: “garland must be assassinated” – citing Attorney General Merrick Garland, who “personally” approved the decision to seek an arrest warrant – and “to kill all FBI agents”. In addition, the biography and contact information of the federal judge who signed the search warrant was removed from a Florida court’s website after he too was the target of violent threats.
In another incident Thursday, a man believed to be armed with an AR-15 rifle and a nail gun attempted to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati field office. He was killed hours later after an altercation with authorities. Although the suspect’s motive has not yet been identified, he was known to the FBI because he had an unspecified connection to the Jan. 6, 2021 riots in the US Capitol and because he had affiliates within a far-right group, two law enforcement sources said announced CNN on Friday.
FBI Director Chris Wray addressed the safety of the bureau’s staff in a memo distributed this week.
“Let me also assure you that your safety and security is my primary concern at the moment. Security is working across the agency as we remain vigilant and adjust our security posture accordingly,” Wray said in the CNN-verified statement.
The FBI’s Washington Department of Security has alerted the bureau’s more than 38,000 employees across the country to remain vigilant when operating in and around the bureau’s facilities, two federal law enforcement sources told CNN.
The FBI declined to comment on specific threats against FBI employees, but told CNN in a statement that the FBI is “always concerned about violence and threats of violence against law enforcement, including FBI men and women.”
“We work closely with our law enforcement partners to assess and respond to such threats, which are reprehensible and dangerous,” the statement said. “As always, we want to remind the public that if they observe anything suspicious, they must report it to law enforcement immediately.”
Bulletin warns of threats against authorities and government personnel
On Friday, the FBI and DHS released a joint intelligence bulletin noting the evolving threat landscape.
“These threats primarily appear online and across multiple platforms including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms and image boards. The FBI and DHS want to ensure law enforcement, court and government employees are aware of the range of threats and criminal and violent incidents,” the bulletin said.
Friday’s Joint Intelligence Bulletin notes an increase in violent online threats against federal officials and agencies, “including threats to plant a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI headquarters and widespread calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion'” . It also said the FBI and DHS have identified threats against certain individuals, including the federal judge who approved the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.
DHS has warned for more than a year that people will use political ideologies to justify acts of violence, and its latest alert underscored the threat posed by domestic violent extremists motivated by perceptions of government transgression and voter fraud.
In June, for example, the DHS Intelligence Division also warned law enforcement agencies, first responders and private sector partners nationwide about potential extremist activity related to domestic violence in response to the Supreme Court decision on abortion.
After the Jan. 6 attack, alternative social media platforms gained popularity among Trump supporters after companies like Facebook and Twitter banned Trump and several other prominent figures who were spreading election conspiracy theories.
These platforms, like Trump’s own website Truth Social, tout themselves as bastions of free speech with looser rules and moderation, but this latitude can lead to the proliferation of violent rhetoric.
Talk of violence isn’t exclusive to fringe platforms, however. There was a spate of tweets Monday mentioning “civil war” — at times exceeding one tweet per second, according to a CNN review of data from Dataminr, a service that tracks Twitter activity.
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