In the wake of the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are warning of an increase in violent threats against the two agencies and their personnel.
A joint intelligence bulletin released on Friday suggested “the FBI’s recent execution of a search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida” could have prompted the uptick.
The agencies further claimed to have “observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including 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 bulletin pointed to a recent incident involving a man who died in a shootout with FBI and Ohio law enforcement officials on Thursday. Navy veteran Ricky Shiffer had reportedly attempted to break into the FBI’s Cincinnati field office in retaliation for the raid on Mar-a-Lago.
Shiffer allegedly posted on his Truth Social account after the failed attempt, writing, “If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it’ll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland condemned the public backlash against the FBI in the aftermath of the raid, stating, “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked. The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants.”
Disagreements between Trump and the FBI, as well as intelligence agencies, led Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to warn the president back in 2017 against continuing to criticize these entities, saying on national television, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
Between 2011 and 2014, the FBI allegedly “authorized” or allowed over 20,000 crimes to be committed, some of which led to people’s deaths or millions of dollars’ worth of damage, according to official documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to an online news publication.
Since 2019, the percentage of Americans who believe that the FBI is doing an “excellent/good job” has dropped from 57% to 44%, according to data from Gallup surveys.
While trust in the FBI fell among Republicans and Independents, Democrat respondents were the only group that maintained a majority positive opinion of the Bureau.