Club Q Shooting Referenced in National Terrorism Advisory Bulletin
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - In a bulletin release today by the Department of Homeland Security the department directly referenced last week’s shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
The National Terrorism Advisory System releases these reports roughly every six months to update the public on the terror threats facing America. Today’s release said in part...
“Some domestic violent extremists who have conducted attacks have cited previous attacks and attackers as inspiration. Following the late November shooting at an LGBTQI+ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado—which remains under investigation—we have observed actors on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged attacker.”
I spoke with Dr. Erik Dahl, a national security expert with the Naval Postgraduate School. He tells me this behavior is sadly common.
“Tragically. Frustratingly. After just about every major terrorist attack or mass shooting you’ll find some individuals on social media or some other place praising the shooter.”
He adds that terrorists and terrorism are changing.
“What we have unfortunately seen in recent years is two different things. One is the rise of the domestic terrorism threat. Not as much of a foreign inspired Isis, Al-Qaeda type threat, although that still exists, but more of a threat by people who are typically U.S citizens who are motivated by a wide variety of hatred. ”
He tells me that legally, intelligence agencies have less liberty to survey U.S citizens as opposed to foreign agents.
“The issue is that our federal agencies and also our state and local agencies are limited in what they can do in terms of monitoring U.S persons. You and me. On social media.”
But he also acknowledges that allowing government agencies to survey their own population is a slippery slope with a troubled history.
“I think we need to have a national conversation about what authorities we want to give to our government and essentially what civil liberties we might want to give up a little bit of. There is no easy answer.”
“We’ve seen that sort of “mission creep” in the pass back during the cold war in the 60s and the 70s. When the CIA, the FBI, just about every three letter agency in Washington was found to have overused their intelligence capabilities to do things like monitor and survey on Martin Luther King. Those kind of things.”
Dahl says that these solo acts of domestic terror have unfortunately become more ever-present, and while he doesn’t want people to overreact to this release, he wants them to take it seriously.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a new threat tomorrow. But we also don’t want to under-react. We need to realize that these threats continue, in Colorado Springs you know it only too well.”
He hopes that in the future the country can solve the pressures and forces which drive people to committing these heinous acts of violence.
“We need to take actions against threats before something happens, before something explodes. In law enforcement, and civil services in this country experts have recognized for years now that we need to take that approach as well. Left of boom.”
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