An internal Department of Homeland Security memo warns about rising threats from abortion-rights extremists on both sides after the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a copy of the memo obtained Wednesday by NBC News.
Axios was the first to report on the details of the memo, which DHS issued Friday.
Since the draft opinion was published May 2, the National Capital Region Threat Intelligence Consortium has identified at least 25 violent threats on social media that were referred to law enforcement agencies for further investigation, according to the memo from DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
“Some of these threats discussed burning down or storming the U.S. Supreme Court and murdering Justices and their clerks, members of Congress, and lawful demonstrators,” the memo said.
The authors also noted several social media accounts that encouraged violence at abortion-rights rallies by sharing images and comments of vehicles ramming into lawful protesters.
Violence has been encouraged by adherents to a broad range of ideologies, according to the authors. They say threats could escalate after the court issues its official decision in the case.
The report, which is unclassified, is based on open-source reporting, including information gleaned from social media posts and news outlets. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis noted, “Accurately determining which, if any, of these threats will culminate in violence remains a significant challenge.”
In response to reports about the memo, a DHS spokesperson said: “DHS is committed to protecting Americans’ freedom of speech and other civil rights and civil liberties, including the right to peacefully protest. DHS is also committed to working with our partners across every level of government and the private sector to share timely information and intelligence, prevent all forms of violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe.”