The U.S. government sent out a bulletin to law enforcement agencies on Friday warning about a “heightened threat” of domestic terrorism hours after the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The bulletin warns of possible attacks against candidates and electoral officials, motivated by those with “ideological grievances” as the U.S prepares for the midterm elections next week.
Pelosi attacked with a hammer at home
Paul Pelosi was attacked with a hammer at the couple’s home in San Francisco by a male assailant early Friday morning.
The intruder confronted the speaker’s husband in their San Francisco home shouting, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” according to CNN.
The man who assaulted Paul Pelosi tried to tie him up “until Nancy got home.”. When the police arrived, the assailant was saying he was “waiting for Nancy.”
“This was not a random act. This was intentional,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said during a news conference on the investigation, adding, “It’s wrong. Our elected officials are here to do the business of their cities, their counties, their states and this nation. Their families don’t sign up for this to be harmed and it is wrong.”
Pelosi, 82, was taken to a hospital and underwent a “successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement early Friday evening. The statement said that doctors expect he will make a full recovery.
Biden condemns attack on Pelosi
President Joe Biden began his remarks at an event for Pennsylvania Democrats on Friday evening by sharply condemning the attack on Paul Pelosi and drawing parallels between the attack on the House speaker’s husband and the Capitol riot.
Biden went on to address reports that the assailant had repeated the “same chant” heard during the Jan. 6 riot.
“The chant was: ‘Where’s Nancy?'” Biden said, calling it “despicable.”
“There’s too much violence, political violence,” the president added, suggesting that election denialism and claims that Covid-19 was a “hoax,” had eroded the political climate.
Incidents of domestic terrorism in the U.S. are on the rise
Also on Friday, the US Department of Justice announced that a man from Pennsylvania had pleaded guilty to making multiple phoned death threats against an unnamed congressman – reported to be Democrat Eric Swalwell of California.
The threats included telling a staff member in the congressman’s Washington office that he was going to come to the US Capitol with a firearm.
There have been numerous instances of armed, masked people scoping out polling places in Arizona, purportedly to keep an eye out for electoral fraud. On right-wing social media platforms, they have shared pictures of people voting and urged others to support them.
A man was detained in June not far from Brett Kavanaugh’s house, a justice on the Supreme Court. He had travelled from California to the Washington suburb and had called the police when he got there to let them know he had a gun and was going to assassinate the conservative justice.
The next month, Republican governor candidate Lee Zeldin was assaulted while speaking on stage at a rally. A man with a weapon threatened Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a leftist figurehead in the Democratic Party, in front of her Seattle house.