This Joint Threat Assessment (JTA) addresses threats to the 59th Presidential Inauguration taking place in Washington, DC, on 20 January 2021. This JTA is co-authored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/US Secret Service (USSS), with input from multiple US Intelligence Community and law enforcement partners. It does not include acts of non – violent civil disobedience (i.e., protests without a permit), which are outside the scope of federal law enforcement jurisdiction.
A bulletin issued in December 2014 by the Virgina Fusion Center (VFC) warned law enforcement and first responders that emergency vehicles could be targeted by violent protesters seeking to retaliate against the perceived surveillance of their activities. The bulletin, which is titled “Malicious Activists May Promote Harm to Emergency Management Vehicles Observed During Violent Protests,” draws its conclusion that “violent or malicious activity” could be directed toward emergency vehicles “operating near protest areas” based primarily upon comments to a post on Reddit and a protest guide posted anonymously on Pastebin.
(U//FOUO) Virginia Fusion Center Bulletin: Malicious Activists May Promote Harm to Emergency Vehicles
The Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) has observed via open sources that actors affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivist movement released a video which purportedly identifies a Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) vehicle as a tool for law enforcement wiretapping efforts by police and fusion center personnel in Chicago, Illinois. The VFC is sharing this information for situational awareness, as emergency management vehicles operating near protest areas may be targeted by precipitating violent or malicious activity.
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide awareness and a basic understanding of the “Hidden Internet” to investigators in the field, as well as provide some examples of how the Hidden Internet can be exploited by criminal elements. While the term “Hidden Internet” can be used in a broader context and refer to other internet terms such as the “Deep Web” or “Deepnet,” for the purpose of this bulletin the term “Hidden Internet” will refer to the hidden services provided by the TOR project to internet users, specifically relating to the Silk road website and use of Bitcoins.
On September 15, 2010 we received a notice from an unknown Security Officer at the Virginia Fusion Center requesting that we immediately remove all documents issued by that entity from our site. In early February, we received a notice from a Special Agent Richard A. Havasy Jr. that requested we remove a “Law Enforcement Sensitive” copy of the Virginia Fusion Center’s report on the Bloods street gang. Since then, we have published two more reports from the Virginia Fusion Center, including a “For Official Use Only” Education Facilities Threat Assessment and a “Law Enforcement Sensitive” report on the Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) street gang.
Mara Salvatrucha 13, or MS-13, is a transnational, mainly Hispanic, street gang notorious for its adherence to a methodology of extreme violence to enforce fear and establish street credibility. MS-13 diverges from the traditional American street gang model in that it maintains cross border organizational ties, and currently poses a serious threat throughout Central America, Mexico, and Canada, as well as domestically in the United States. In Virginia, the influx of Salvadoran immigrants to the Washington. DC metro area has created the second domestic center for the gang’s American presence. Membership has been documented across the National Capitol Region and in central Virginia, making it the major gang threat to Northern Virginia and a major concern for the Commonwealth as a whole. Demographic change in the Commonwealth, combined with the potential expansion of MS-13 membership to non-Hispanic individuals, constitutes a serious potential threat to public safety.
Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) Overview Brief, April 22, 2009.
The purpose of this Threat Assessment is to convey potential threats to educational facilities and related assets in the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to prevent terrorist and insider attacks as well as to increase awareness regarding available threat information. It is anticipated that this assessment will assist homeland security personnel in understanding the potential vulnerabilities to public and private schools, colleges, and universities in order to further assist in responding effectively to an educational facility-related incident. This assessment describes insider threats as well as those posed by domestic extremist and international terrorist groups.
In the month of February, we have received multiple notices from U.S. Intelligence Fusion Centers requesting the removal of documents from our archive. The notices originated from the following entities:
1. Virginia Fusion Center
2. Rocky Mountain Information Network